The parable of the lamp on a stand (Mark 4: 21–23)

Jesus tells the parable of the lamp on the stand to encourage his followers to stand out, to be an example and not to hide away.

The message in this parable would have been challenging for the first Christians, who were cruelly persecuted. They may have hidden their faith as they did not want to be tortured, imprisoned or killed because of it.

Jesus uses the example of an oil lamp. It was brought into the home to provide light, so it wasn’t hidden under the bed but instead set on a lampstand where it could have most impact.

Jesus is saying that for the Christian message to spread and develop, followers must proclaim and show their faith.