Where is the lamp?
Mark 4: 21-23 “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.”
Mark has this saying coming straight after the parable of the sower. Jesus has been saying the gospel is for everyone. Now he continues. The gospel is not only a seed to be planted but a light to shine so that everyone can see what is hidden and concealed. The gospel discloses and brings out into the open the purpose of life.
Would anyone put a lamp under a bowl or in some translations a washbasin? Well there are some who think the gospel is for themselves, a set of rules that keep them clean, a list of do’s and do not’s that if they only keep each one they will be righteous and receive favour from on High. So yes let us put the lamp under the washbasin as we wash ourselves from the dirt of this world.
Would anyone put a lamp under a bed?
Well there are some who think the purpose of the gospel is to make their life more comfortable, that the good news is actually that their life is now central, He will care, He will make us lie down, He will comfort and give us peace. He will cause us to rest and not have any worries or wars or wounds. So yes let us put the lamp under the bed as we lay down and go to sleep in our many comfort zones.
But this is not the purpose for the lamp. It has to be on a stand for all to see. It has to light up the whole room. No shadows, nothing hidden, everything to be seen. The gospel is not for us to make us be better people or to comfort us in our daydreams. It is for the world. It is for those who are searching, hoping that there is meaning in life, it is for the pilgrims who want more in this life.
That is the power of the gospel, the power of the lamp!