The Parable of the Lamp

Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”  – Mark 4:21-25

On the surface of this parable, what Jesus is saying is pretty obvious. The purpose of the lamp is to light up the room, and it cannot fulfill its purpose hidden under a basket or a bed.

And again we hear the phrase “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” A reminder to the people to dig deeper into the meaning of the parable. So let’s dig into this passage a little more.

Being a Light

In Matthew 5:14-16 we read.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:14-16

And in Ephesians 5:8-10 we read.

8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. – Ephesians 5:8-10

Both passages tell us that we are light. And both of these passages show us how we can be effective in sharing that light with the world. But being a light is more than just good works.


Do Not Let The World Silence Your Out of Fear

The world tells us to keep our Christianity to ourselves. Political correctness says the two things you don’t talk about in public gatherings are religion and politics. Well, Jesus is saying that the light needs to be shined in all dark places. During Jesus’ time, the two darkest places were in politics and the pious traditions of man-made religion.

When God opens up a door to share the life saving Gospel of Jesus Christ, do not be afraid of the persecution that follows. - @genoq Click To Tweet

In fact, it was a combination of politicians and religious leaders that plotted and carried out His death on the cross. Up until the very end, Jesus never refrained from being the truth and the light before all men and women.

Obviously, there are many ways we are light. Our good works, goodness, righteousness, and truth are some of the ways we are light. But when God opens up a door to share the lifesaving Gospel of Jesus Christ, do not be afraid of the persecution that follows.

For Whoever Has, To Him More Will Be Given

This parable is a wonderful truth but it is also a dire warning. Here Jesus is saying that pay attention to what you are taught and put it to action.

We are not to be the types of religious people that go to services and just take in, never giving out. We need to take what we learn and what we know, and apply it to our lives.

We also need to share what we know. The only way we are going to fulfil our purpose as lights of this world, is to put our Christianity out there.

The more we take in, the greater the responsibility to apply it. To do something with it. And when you do something with it, more is given to you.  The hungrier you get for God’s word, the more He will open it up to you.

What The Big Deal About Having a Hunger for God’s Word?

Remember in the parable of the sower and the seed, how God used the seed as a picture of His word. And so if we are taking in more of the seed, more of His word, the more fruit we are going to bear.

Now If I don’t apply God’s word, If I lose my appetite for His word, we will lose it. That’s what He is saying there in verse 25.

For whoever has, to him more will be given; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

The last thing you want is to lose your appetite and hunger for the Word of God. As you lose your hunger for the Word of God, you begin to drift away from Jesus.

In Closing

The world is always trying to feed us something 24/7 and it most certainly is not the Word of God. It is up to us to make time, dig deeper, seek Jesus in all our attempts, and continue praying that the Holy Spirit reveal His truth in all that we read and expound on.

Pay attention to what you are taught and put it to action. Do not be that person that goes to church, listens to the sermons, and then does not apply it to their own lives or does not share it with others.

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Geno is the lead pastor at Connect Marina located in Marina, CA. He is husband to Vivien Quiroz. They have two wonderful boys, and two needy dogs. He is passionate about Jesus, family, building community, and sharing the Word of God. Pastor Geno’s method of teaching is solidly expositional, following the Inductive Method of Observation, Interpretation, and Application.