During His ministry, Jesus frequently challenged conventional wisdom, and He also encouraged His followers to radically demonstrate God’s love. He often did this through the use of parables. Jesus used these short stories to relay important instructions and lessons in ordinary language. There are more than 30 parables in the Bible, each with its own dynamic lesson.
In Mark 4:21-23, we learn about the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand. The lamp represents message of hope. Everyone who has put their faith in Jesus carries a special light that is meant to be shared with others, not hidden or kept to themselves.
“Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand,” (Mark 4:21-23).
An oil lamp was brought into the home to provide light. In order for the light to shine, it would have to be placed on a lampstand where it could have the most impact. Jesus is saying that for the Christian message to spread and develop, followers must proclaim and show their faith.
Jesus uses this parable to encourage His followers to stand out, to be an example of good and light in a dark world. This message was challenging for the first Christians, who were often cruelly persecuted.
Christians are called to spread the light of Jesus to others. People should be able to see the light of our Christianity shine through us by our words and actions. Throughout the Bible, light is used as an object lesson for many things including truth, holiness, the gospel message and Jesus Himself.
As God’s lamps, we become the messengers of God’s word. Go forth and let your light for Jesus shine brightly this month.