Translations: Chinese GB Big5

The Parable of 
a Lamp Under a Basket

Matt 5:14-16; Mk 4:21,22; Lk 8:16,17; Lk 11:33-36

Luke 8:16-17  "No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a container, or puts it under a bed; but puts it on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light. For nothing is hidden, that will not be revealed; nor anything secret, that will not be known and come to light." (web)

Luke 11:33-36  "No man, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar, nor under a basket, but on a stand, that those who enter in may see the light.  The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness.   Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn’t darkness.   If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light." (web)

Discussion Questions

What does the light represent? The Lamp? The Lampstand? (Rev 1:20)
What is the difference between the point of the first passage and the point of the second?
What motivates people to hide the light? (John 3:20)
How has revelation of truth affected your own behavior?
What are examples of ways in which lack of revelation brings corruption to a person's behavior?


The first passage deals with Revelation

People light lamps when it is dark, and do so in order to see. But there are those who prefer darkness.

"Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." John 3:19
Being enlightened by the truth of the Bible leads to enlightened behavior. But rejecting the truth leads to condemnation. Christians should be characterized as people of truth.
"If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1John 1:6,7
Even if we claim to be enlightened, but darkness characterizes our lifestyle, then such is indicative that we have yet to be born of God.
"Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness." 1John 2:9
Though some responded well, Jesus was subject to much persecution because he exposed people's sinfulness to the light and likewise whatever was his mission is ours as well. "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." Eph 5:11

In a dark place, it doesn't take a particularly bright lamp to reveal truth. When it is very dark, even a dim lamp can be seen very far. Why would Christians hide their lamps? To avoid persecution. Christians often compromise in inappropriate ways with the world by covering truth. The world prefers darkness. So some Christians cover their lamps. But Jesus teaches that we shouldn't be so overly concerning to people's reaction to truth.

Lampstands are used to make the light more prominent. An example of a lampstand is an institutional church. Jesus calls seven institutional churches "lampstands" in Rev 1:20. They are supposed to facilitate the light getting out, but too often are more interesting in investing in fancy lampshades to cover themselves, which hinders the light. Jesus was so exasperated with a number of such churches that he threatened to simply shut them down.

The second passage deals with the Effect of Revelation

"The eye is the lamp of the body" in that our perception affects our whole behavior. If you cannot perceive what is true, just, and holy, then your lifestyle will be characterized by darkness, both mentally and morally.

But realize also that people who are spiritually blind are not innocent victims, but have become that way by responding to what God has revealed to them in an inappropriate manner.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened." Rom 1:18-21
Let this also be a warning to us, who claim to be children of light. For if we don't respond properly to what God reveals to us, our spiritual maturity and effectiveness will be hindered.


Who puts a lamp under a bed? 
Doesn't he put it on a stand instead?
For there's nothing hid that will not be revealed
All will be known which once was concealed.
Your eye is a lamp, even at night.
When your eye is good, your body is light.
But if your eye is bad, your body is dark.
your behavior corrupt and your heart like rock.
But if you open your heart to the light of the Lord
You will with Him be of one accord.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Jul 29,2015