The Extension of the Kingdom
Mark 4:21
And he said to them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

The kingdom, as it appeared in its beginning, is like the little grains of wheat cast into the damp soil in the chilly days of spring. To the mature Christian of today it is like the city which John saw, filling all his vision, let down out of heaven from God, glowing with strange opaline light, so that neither sun nor moon were longer needed, with jasper walls and pavements of transparent gold, and great gates, each a single pearl, and at each gate a glorious angel. This parable teaches us that one of the agencies bringing about this result is man's work in the kingdom.

1. To make known its character and the conditions of entrance into it. Even the smallest taper is lighted in order that it may give light. The youngest disciple is to shine for the guidance of others. The rays of one little lamp, piercing through miles of gloom, have saved noble ships from destruction, with all their precious living freight. It may have been only such a lamp as lights one little room; but it was surrounded by powerful reflectors, which sent its rays afar, and multiplied its influence a hundredfold.

2. To give his mind and heart to increase his knowledge and experience of the truth by which the kingdom grows. The lighted lamp must have oil to feed upon. We cannot be making known the character of the kingdom unless our knowledge of it is growing. Alas for him before whose eyes the vision of the heavenly city, once seen, is allowed to fade and disappear! On the other hand, the more brightly we shine, the more eagerly we seek and the more fully we receive that which keeps the light burning. The more generously we give to others what we know of the gospel, the more clearly it will be revealed to us.

(A. E. Dunning.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

WEB: He said to them, "Is the lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand?

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