Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart"1 (Lyrics)
John 8:12 – Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (NKJV)
When I was a young lad, we lived in a house without electricity. We had a variety of oil lamps in the house. There were some rather fancy ones in the living room, some plainer ones in the kitchen and bedrooms, and a couple of lanterns to carry when we moved around the house or went outside. Every day, the wicks were trimmed, and we made sure that there was oil in each lamp and lantern. All of them were put on a lampstand or hung from the ceiling. They were placed in such a way that they would light up the room. This is the way we lit up our house.
Jesus was preparing His followers to bring the gospel of salvation to those all around them. He knew that, later, they would be the ones to spread the word to all the nations. In an effort to make it easy for them to understand, He told them a short little parable, a story they could all relate to:
Mark 4:21 – Also He said to them, "Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand?" (NKJV)
In His parables, Jesus used such ordinary, easy-to-understand stories, and this is one of those practical examples. After all, everybody in Israel of old had oil lamps. It was the only light they had; most of them burned olive oil. At dusk, they would bring the lamp out and put it on a lampstand so that it would light as much of the room as possible. The purpose was to light the room up, to illuminate, to supply with light the area where people spent the evening.
Just as we and the people of Israel of old would have otherwise lived in a literal darkness, so there are many people living in spiritual darkness at the present time, who just don't seem to be interested in the Word of God and Jesus. Through this parable, Jesus tells us, too, to let the light of our faith shine, to tell others about Him. He tells us, no, He urges us, not to keep our faith a secret. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:16 NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we are aware that there are many people who need to hear about You, and we earnestly pray that we will have the ability and the desire to let the light of our faith shine to all around us, so that others will hear and believe. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.