Parable of the Lamp Under a Basket: Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-25; Luke 8:16-18; Luke 11:33-34
In the parable of the lamp under a basket, Jesus notes that no one lights a lamp in order to hide it. On the contrary, those who light a lamp set it on a table to fill the whole room with light.
This short parable is used by Jesus to illustrate three different points in different contexts.
In the context found in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus says "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
Jesus' Point: Allow the goodness within you to produce good works, so that God is glorified.
In the context found in Mark 4:21-25 and Luke 8:16-18, Jesus makes the point that anything hidden or secret will be exposed.
While God already knows our inner thoughts, one day everything hidden from the world will be made known when we are judged for what we have done and said.
Also in this context, Jesus says "Then pay attention to how you listen; for to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away." (Luke 8:18)
This comment is referring to revelation and knowledge. Those who listen and therefore have understanding, will be given more knowledge. Those who do not have understanding, because they do not listen well, even what they seem to have (in terms of understanding) will be taken away.
This fact is illustrated regularly with almost any subject. The only real difference between the wise and foolish is that a smart person listens and learns, whereas a foolish person does not.
Jesus' Point: All things hidden and secret will be made known openly.
In the context found in Luke 11:33-34, Jesus says, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy your body is full of darkness." (Luke 11:34)
In this situation, Jesus uses the parable of the lamp under a basket to explain that it matters what our eyes view.
Jesus' Point: What we allow our eyes to see affects the goodness (or evil) within us.
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