Parables of Jesus

Parable

The lamp - Mark

From the Gospel of Mark Chapter 4, Verses 21-25

He said to them: "Do you perhaps bring the lamp to put it under a bushel or under the bed? Or not to put it on the candlestick? There is in fact nothing hidden that should not be manifested and nothing secret that should not be highlighted. If anyone has ears to listen, listen!".
He said to them: "Pay attention to what you hear. With the same measure with which you measure it will be measured to you; indeed, it will be given to you more. For whoever has, it will be given; but to whoever does not have, even that will be taken away that has".

Mark Parable exegesis

Continuing to speak with his disciples, after having explained the Parable of the sower, Jesus proposes this, made up of six verses, and teaches us how we must receive His Word. In the previous parable he said that the seed fallen on the good ground represents those who listen, welcome the Word and therefore bear fruit. Now Mark with this Parable wishes to encourage you to go deeper to understand even more the meaning of these teachings.

The symbology shown in this display sees on one side the position of the lighted lamp, on the other the meter with which we will be measured. The analogy with the previous parable of the sower is evident: whoever receives the good seed symbolizes who listens to the word and makes it bear fruit; whoever places the lamp on the candlestick also symbolizes in this case those who hear the word and raise it, so that its light illuminates all humanity. The Word of Jesus becomes the guide, the reference, the reason for acting for those who decide to welcome and follow him. The Word is therefore light, "The true light that illuminates every man came into the world" (Jn 1: 9) and Jesus himself said of himself "I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but it will have the light of life".
(Jn 8,9).

It is necessary to take that Word, that is, the light, to make it become the guide of our earthly existence. Of course, whoever welcomes the Word, that is the light, and places it on the candlestick, illuminates our thinking, our speaking, our acting, and we too will bear much fruit. Likewise whoever takes the lamp "to put it under a bushel or under the bed", behaves exactly like the sower who drops the seed on those "sterile" soils that make the Word die: here he turns to his disciples, as if to say "If you have accepted the word, you are convinced that it is the light, then you must place it as a guide to your earthly existence; however, be careful of the temptations that can become barriers, which can obscure the light".

It is those barriers that lead us to put the lamp under a bushel, and to prevent us from following Jesus. The first barrier is the one erected by satan, the "disturber" par excellence, who often manages to take away the "seeded word". But in what way, with which cunning? The answer is already found in the book of Genesis, when the snake manages with its insidious convictions to eradicate the word of God from the heart of Eve and Adam. Now Jesus takes up the argument: "the sower sows the Word. Now those who are on the way are those in whom the Word is sown, and when they have heard it immediately, satan comes and takes away the Word sown in them" ( Mk 4: 14-15), making sure that man no longer listens to the Word and, if he feels it, diminishes it so as not to become important and decisive, to discredit it also to the ears of those who hear it.

The devil therefore has this power, to turn off the light of the Word in us and to put the lamp under a bushel. Adam is the symbol of this reality, in fact the snake convinces him that the word of God cannot be the criterion of his action. Eve had accepted the Word of God, but it lacked the definitive acceptance, and the snake manages to use this weakness to confuse it and hide the truth of that Word from it. That's why Jesus urges us to be careful, not to put the lamp under a bushel.

The second barrier occurs when you try to obey the Word: soon you will realize that you are outside the current mentality, and the "tempter" could take over your uneasiness to make you understand that this feeling of yours out of place and persecuted is the Word itself; it is here that we must be faithful and persevering to the teachings of Jesus: if the word is not rooted, the insinuations of the demon will make you give up.

And then there is the third barrier which is represented by all human temptations and provocations, which can move us more or less progressively from following Jesus: "the care of the world comes, the seduction of riches, greed of any other kind and suffocate the Word, which becomes unsuccessful" (Mk 4:19).

Yet another invitation to be vigilant and fight not to be overwhelmed: "who has ears to hear, listen!". Of course, Jesus does not impose His teachings, but suggests and encourages us to follow them, and this depends exclusively on the will of each of us.

And here is the warning at the end of the parable of the lantern: "With the same measure with which you measure, it will be measured to you". The measure is the behavior of each of us, it is the criterion with which we have worked, we have borne fruit by referring to the Word of Jesus, that is, if we have placed the lamp under a bushel or on the candlestick: each of us, with its choices and his behaviors, determines his own salvation or perdition. But if you don't accept, if you have deprived yourself of the Word that saves, how will you be able to save yourself? This Parable invites us to revive within us the decision to listen and put into practice the teachings and ensure that all our actions are always and only in conformity with the teachings of Jesus, and then we will be sure to walk in our earthly existence eternity so longed for a future of endless bliss.

The lamp under a bushel - Matthew

From the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 5, Verses 14-16

You are the light of the world; a city located on a mountain cannot be hidden, nor can a lamp be lit to put it under a bushel, but above the skylight so that it sheds light on everyone in the house.

So let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

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