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? (Mark 4:21)
We have an abundance of artificial light in the world today. We simply flip a switch and a room can become lit up like it is daylight inside. Not so in the ancient world.
When darkness fell in the ancient world, light was a precious commodity and it required the sacrificial consumption of special fuel prepared for this very purpose. In the Ancient Near East, the usual fuel was olive oil, which is prepared by crushing ripe olives, pressing them and then separating the oil from the water in the resulting liquid.
It would be ridiculous to light a lamp, bring it into a room and then put it under a bowl or a bed. Jesus’ disciples, to whom He was speaking, knew that this was common sense. Rooms usually had a special stand on which to place the lamp so that its light could shine most clearly throughout the room.
John tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4-5) Jesus was “…was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
Jesus is the precious light that drives away the darkness of our broken and wounded hearts. It takes a lot of love to heal a broken soul, but all the love that is needed, and more, is present and available in Jesus.
What happens in secret matters (see Mark 4:22) for it is in our secret one-on-one times with Jesus that He pours His love, His life and His light into our lives. As we are renewed each day by Jesus and His love, then a light within us begins to glow. That light is Jesus, making His home within us, radiating His love and His light from the special place in our heart, a throne, which has always been meant only for Him.
Filled with Jesus’ love, we reflect that love into the world around us, bringing light and life and hope to dark places where there is no other hope.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please fill me again and again with Your life and love so that Your light shines brightly within me. Amen.