The Parable of the Lamp is also known as the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand or the Parable of the Lamp Under a Bowl. It’s included in three of the four Gospels, Matthew 5:15, Mark 4:21, and Luke 8:16.
Parable of the Lamp Mark 4 21 25
A Lamp on a Stand
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
- Parable of the Lamp Mark 4 21 25
- Parable of the Lamp Summary
- Parable of the Lamp Meaning
- What Does a Lamp Symbolize
- Parable of the Lamp Reflection
- Lamp on a Stand Bible Verse
- Sing a Song!
- The Parable of the Lamp on a Stand Commentary
- More Parables!
Parable of the Lamp Summary
The Parable of the Lamp summary is that light from a lamp or candle is intended to shine for all to see. It guides the way in darkness.
It isn’t intended to be hidden and it’s useless when the light is hidden from full view.
Parable of the Lamp Meaning
A lamp on a stand meaning is that our light for Christ must shine. Our passion as His followers isn’t intended to be hidden within us.
As Christians, we should exude Christ’s light with our words and actions to all those we encounter.
What Does a Lamp Symbolize
In the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand, the lamp symbolizes Christ’s followers. We are the light and we are called to shine!
This means that our words and actions should glorify God and be in accordance with His Word.
Parable of the Lamp Reflection
The meaning and message of the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand is as applicable to us today as it was when Jesus spoke the words.
Take some time to reflect on the many messages to see where you have opportunities for growth in your Christian journey.
1. Shine your light
We are the light of the world and Jesus instructed us to shine our light!
Many of Jesus’ instructions tell us that the sincerity of our hearts is critical for loving Him and receiving His salvation.
While the condition of our hearts is an internal condition, this parable instructs us that it’s also our duty to outwardly show the same goodness.
When we truly love God, we want to love others the way Jesus instructed us in John 13:34-35 NIV:
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
In this case, loving is a verb. It’s what we do and say. It’s what we exude.
When we say and do things in accordance with God’s Word, we shine His light. We draw people to that love like bugs to light on a dark summer night.
Shine your light so that everyone will know you’re His disciple.
2. This means YOU
You might be one of those people, like me, who enjoy a quiet faith. You might dread speaking out about your faith to strangers.
But Jesus didn’t say, “Shine your light if you want to” or “Shine your light if it’s comfortable for you”.
We can all find ways to shine our light.
Some of us will be more exuberant and others will be more subdued, but our actions alone are one way to shine a light. Our daily actions don’t require any level of discomfort. We just have to act as the loving people Jesus calls us to be.
Shine your light, whether you use a megaphone or a whisper.
3. Lead by example
Everyone watches our actions, especially impressionable children. The Parable of the Lamp reminds us that we’re leading by example.
Our actions speak MUCH louder than our words.
As Christians, it’s our duty to act in a way that draws others to Christ. We are called to be a light that draws people and shows them the way to Christ in their darkness.
When we choose to admonish others in the name of love for sinful behaviors, it should not be a public display of humiliation. Always lead with love.
The world is watching. Draw people to Christ. Don’t push them away.
He will sort out their issues once they’re listening to Him, just as He’s helping you sort out yours.
4. This time it’s about what’s on the outside
So much about our faith has to do with what’s inside our hearts, like what we truly believe and the personal relationship we have with God.
This internal aspect is critical to our faith and lives as Christians. This concept is covered in many other places in the Bible.
However, the Parable of the Lamp is about what’s on the outside. Our words and actions.
Every part of our being should reflect our love and honor of God. The Parable of the Lamp reminds us that even a deep faith with plenty of prayers and reading God’s Word regularly is not complete without outwardly shining our light.
5. Acts don’t save us
Every time we say that Jesus called us to act in a certain way, I think it bears repeating that acts alone are not the ticket to heaven. In fact, acts are not the ticket to heaven, period.
We are saved by believing that Jesus is our Savior who died for our sins and that we repent of our sins (and turn to His ways).
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV
When we truly believe Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we WANT to change our ways – to act as He calls us to act. We want to follow Him more closely and love His people as He asked us to do.
When we love Jesus in our hearts, it shows (shines) on the outside by how we act toward one another.
So, even though our good works may be done in God’s honor and for His glory, they don’t guarantee our salvation. Our good works please Him, but there’s more at stake when it comes to our salvation.
Parables of Jesus Devotional Book – Coming Soon!
Lamp on a Stand Bible Verse
Key verses from each of the Parables are below.
Matthew 5:14 NIV: You are the light of the world.
Mark 4:21 NIV: He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?
Luke 8:16 NIV: No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.
Sing a Song!
**Related sidebar… Sing a Song! Do you remember the song about being a light of the world? Here’s one rendition of We Are The Light Of The World: We Are The Light of The World by Jean Anthony Greif**
The Parable of the Lamp on a Stand Commentary
Find the Parable of the Lamp (or the Parable of the Lamp on a Stand or Parable of a Lamp Under a Bowl) Commentary. Bible Study Tools.com offers free and paid versions. For this article, I referred to Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary.
This post may contain affiliate links. This is my full disclosure.
Do you love the parables as much as I do? You may enjoy reading life lessons on these others (listed below), these activities for adults and children, or this list of Parables and Meanings. More parable lessons are underway. See them all HERE!
Do you love journaling? Does writing down your personal reflections help you process your thoughts more fully? Perhaps these Christian writing journals will be helpful as you reflect on the life lessons of the parables.
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