Mark 4:21 – 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?” NIV
The image of a lamp either being hidden or placed on a lampstand is used by Jesus several times in His teaching recorded in the Gospels. It is common sense to place a lamp on a lampstand in order for it to light up the whole room. Our light or lamp is usually what shines from our inside out. If we are Christ-followers our light (a reflection of Jesus’ light) is meant to illuminate our path and give light to those around us. It is a way of sharing God’s love and encouraging others to also follow Jesus. We are encouraged to let our light shine.
Another way to view this illustration has to do with why we might want to hide our lamp. If our life is emanating something other than the influence or light of Jesus, we might want to hide that “light” from other believers. We might want to avoid putting it on a “lampstand” for all to see. We might be hesitant to share what God has done and is doing in our lives.
Just as it is logical to light a lamp and place it in a position to give optimal illumination; so Jesus would have His followers position themselves in the best possible situations to be His witnesses to this dark world. How am I positioning myself to best share (according to how God has worked in my life) God’s light and love to those around me? Are there things in my life (strongholds) that I am trying to hide rather than bringing them to Jesus’ light and allowing Him to deal with them? What is the Holy Spirit saying to me as Jesus asks this question?