This passage is the first of three challenging texts for this week. The best way to understand Jesus’ analogy of the light from the lampstand is to connect the illustration with the last section, the Parable of the Sower. If we see the lamp as the Word of God or more specifically the gospel message (like the seed sown by the farmer), then the meaning becomes more clear: Jesus wants His disciples to share their gift of the understanding of the kingdom of God with others.
The Text (Mark 4:21-25)
21 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? 22 For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
24 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. 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 emphasis of this passage is responsibility. Christ’s disciples have been enlightened by the Holy Spirit to understand the parables and receive salvation. To them it has been granted to grasp the mysteries of the kingdom of God. But they are not keep that privilege to themselves. Instead, Jesus is telling them that they must be faithful to share what they have learned with others, to help Him spread the gospel. As they obey by teaching and preaching the Word as Christ’s ambassadors, the disciples will receive greater and greater spiritual knowledge. They have been entrusted with the light of the the gospel of hope. They must not hide such a precious gift from the world, but rather freely share the truth with all who will receive it.
As Christians, we should never stop praising God for our salvation. By giving us the power to understand and believe the gospel, God gave us the most incredible gift anyone could ever receive. From the point of our salvation forward, we have been given the important task of being Jesus’ witnesses to the people whom the Father sends into our lives. We have Jesus, the “Light of the World,” and people all around us are dying in darkness. When we freely and lovingly share the gospel message with others, we experience joy and spiritual growth just as Christ promises in today’s text. If you feel stuck in your spiritual progress, try praying for opportunities to share Jesus and follow God’s leading when those opportunities come. Pray for the spiritual needs of others, especially family and friends who have not yet understood the light of the gospel. It may be that God is causing you to feel apathetic and restless to drive you to embrace His passionate love for the lost.