By Pastor John Mateos Ong
A parable is a short story that did not really happen but which illustrates or teaches a lesson. As followers of Jesus, it is important because since Jesus used them in His time, I am sure that we will also learn something from it.
One of the prophesies about the Messiah is that He will speak in parables. So when Jesus was speaking this way, the disciples were confused and asked Him why He could not answer them directly but instead, spoke in parables. He answers in Matthew 13:11 when He says “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not.” We study the parables because through these, Jesus teaches us about the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. We were given the key to discover the mysteries that God has prepared for us.
We can understand and study the Bible by using this tool:
O bservation (facts) ask who, where, what, when
SCRIPTURE Mark 4:21-23 is The Parable of the Lamp. It starts, “Then Jesus asked them, “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.”
WHO Jesus and the disciples and others
WHERE by the lake
WHEN when He wanted to teach His disiples something
WHAT He asked a question: Where should we put the lamp? Under a basket of high on a stando
APPLICATION What does light do? If you are a lamp, what is the meaning of being a light?
The 4 Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell of the birth of Jesus Christ until the time that He died. All of them come from different perspectives. The Parable of the lamp can be seen in all 4 gospels. The initial gospel writings fell into different hands, thus the different perspectives albeit all are accurate. In Matthew 5:14-16, it says “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
According to Matthew, we are the lamp. He is telling us to let your light shine before others so that others may see the good things we are doing to glorify the Father in heaven. Look for opportunities to help and give God the glory.
Mark 4:21-24 says “Then Jesus asked them, “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.” People who come to Jesus become a lamp. The purpose of the lamp is to give light. A person who gives light does so wherever he goes. And this light reveals secrets hidden in the dark. When you read the Bible and start knowing the Lord, your old ways will come to light and you are given the chance to redeem yourself. It allows you to judge yourself. It shows you all your flaws so that you can fix it.
In Luke 11:34-36, it says, “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.” The eyes are the windows to the soul, or so they say. And our eyes are the lamp of our body. We have to watch what we expose this lamp to. They say you become what you eat. So you become what you warch and see. The light and our eyes have the same function-to give vision. And the light that God gives us alao hives us clear vision. Light gives vision. Sometimes our vision is unclear, but once God sheds His light into it, He also gives us a clear vision of what He wants us to do. Maybe you have to pray for what God really wants you to do, for you to really see the vision that God wants you to see.
Jesus gave us an example. Many are asking, why did Jesus stay only in Israel? Why did He not go to America. To Africa or to the Philippines? Why did He disciple only 12 people when He could have discipled 1 million? Because if Jesus discipled 1 million, physically, how is He going to have a personal relationship with each one of them? The design of the church is not like a classroom where you come and go after the service. If you do not have a small group then you are not connected in the church syatem. Relationships are built. But when you are connected to a small group, then all the blessings overflow to you.
As the lamp:
1. Shine your light-good deeds
2. Self judge-allow it to show you your faults
3. Watch what you expose yourself to-you will be what you are exposed to
4. Fulfill the vison God showed you-follow it