Parable #6. Lamp on a Stand #2 (of 2):
- Today is Day #6
- The Sixth Mashal of Messiah
- The Three Absurdities
- Absurdity #1
- Absurdity #2
- Absurdity #3
- The Solution that all the World needs to see
- Where did all the Trouble Begin?
- Take care how you listen…
- Lessons Learned and Final Word
Today is Day #6:
1. Today is “Day #6” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.
2. Today is Six days in the Omer.
Today is six days in the Omer.
היום שישה ימים בעומר.פ
Haiyom shishah yamim ba’omer.
“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).
“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, Who sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to count the Omer.”
ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ
Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.
The Sixth Mashal of Messiah:
גַּם אֵין מַדְלִיקִים נֵר לָשׂוֹּם אוֹתוֹ תַּחַת הָאֵיפָה כִּי אִם־עַל־הַמְּנוֹרָה לְהָאִיר לְכָל־אֲשֶׁר בַּבָּיִת׃
גם אין מדליקים מנורה ושמים אותה תחת כלי, אלא על כן שמים אותה ואז תאיר לכל באי הבית.פ
A. [Mattai 5:15] “Nor do men kindle (light) a lamp just to put it under a dry-measure bowl (bushel measure), but rather put it on the Menorah (lampstand) and then illuminate all the people who are in the house.”
וַיּאֹמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם הֲיָבִיאוּ הַנֵּר לָשׂוּם תַּחַת הָאֵיפָה וְתַחַת הַמִּטָּה וְלֹא לְהַעֲלוֹתוֹ עַל־הַמְּנוֹרָה׃
אמר להם: האם המנורה קימת כדי שישימו אותה תחת כלי או תחת המטה? האם לא יעמידו אותה על כן?פ
B. [Markos 4:21] He said to them, “Do people bring out a lamp in order to put it under the bushel-measure? (Hebrew, seah) or is the Menorah placed under the stand (bed, rest, resting place) rather than to set it on a stand?”
וְאֵין־אִישׁ מַדְלִיק נֵר וּמְכַסֶּה אוֹתוֹ בִּכְלִי וְלֹא יְשִׂימֵהוּ תַּחַת הַמִּטָּה כִּי עַל־הַמְּנוֹרָה יַעֲלֵהוּ לְמַעַן יִרְאוּ כָּל־בָּאֵי הַבַּיִת אֶת־הָאוֹר׃
אין איש מדליק מנורה ומכסה אותה בכלי, אף לא ישים אותה תחת המטה, אלא על כן ישים אותה כדי שבאי הבית יראו את האור.פ
C. [Lukas 8:16] “No one lights (kindles) a lamp then covers it over with a container (vessel). And one would not place it under the bed (rest, resting place), but rather sets it up on the Menorah so that all the people who come into the house may see the light.”
אֵין מַדְלִיק־נֵר לָשׂוֹּם בַּסֵּתֶר אוֹ־תַחַת הָאֵיפָה כִּי יְשִׂמֵהוּ עַל הַמְּנוֹרָה לְמַעַן יִרְאוּ בָּאֵי הַבַּיִת אֶת־אוֹרוֹ׃
אין איש מדליק מנורה ושם אותה במקום נסתר או תחת כד, אלא על כן ישים אותה כדי שבאי הבית יראו את האור.פ
D. [Lukas 11:33] “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it in hiding (i.e. a covered way, vault, cellar, crypt) or under the measuring bowl (bushel-measure), but rather one places it on the Menorah so that all the people who come into the house can see the light.”
The Three Absurdities:
In His mashal of the “Lamp on A Stand #2” (of 2) the Rabbi of rabbis uses a measuring bowl, bed, crypt (cellar), and container to illustrate that our people of Israel, who are called to project the Light of Adonai (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) out to the gentile nations, peoples and families of the world, instead are hiding the Light and keeping Him from being seen.
Rabbeinu Yeshua Ben Yosef Ben David illustrates this point by creating three absurdities. All three absurdities are a ridiculous alternative to simply putting the Light of Adonai (M’shicho) on His Lampstand (Israel) for all to see. The first absurdity (alternative) is wrapped up in the very strange rabbinic question:
“Would anyone ever light their lamp and put it under a dry measuring bowl rather than put the lit lamp on a lampstand?”
Stupid technique, approach & methodology #1. The stupidity of such a ridiculous notion deserves a title, so we have called this first absurdity, The Dry Measuring Bowl Technique (and the Dry Measuring Bowl Movement).
Stupid technique, approach & methodology #2. The second absurdity (alternative) is even more ridiculous than the first. It provides as a companion to the Dry Measuring Bowl Technique, the new and improved Under the Bed Approach:
“Would anyone ever choose to put their lamp ‘under a bed,’ rather than put it on the lampstand?”
Stupid technique, approach & methodology #3. The third and final absurdity (alternative) is a kind of creepy general Crypt Methodology (hiding the Light in a burial place):
“Would anyone choose to put the lamp in a crypt (a covered area, vault) or under a basket, rather than put it on the lampstand?”
There is a fourth alternative but it is not an absurdity, it is The Solution:
Put the Light (Messiah) back upon the Lampstand (Israel) where He belongs and let His works shine out for everyone in the world to see!
Absurdity Response #1: The obvious response to the first absurdity is: who would ever want to put a lamp under a measuring bowl rather than on a lampstand where it belongs? Why would anyone ever want to cover the lamp and the light, rather than put the light on a lampstand so it may give light to everyone in the house?
Sadly, after further investigation we discover that this absurdity isn’t treated by many of our religious leaders as if it is absurd at all. For the fact is the Light of the Holy One has more times than not been treated exactly in the manner specified. To prove our point humor us for a moment and let us illustrate how absurd and ridiculous many of our religious practices have become. We shall illustrate our point by animating the Dry Measuring Bowl and letting it aggressively speak-out against the Lampstand. Therefore, the Bowl says to the Lampstand and the LIght:
“Now look here Lampstand I am just sick and tired of you being placed in a more exalted place than I. What do you know about life anyway? You just stand there and do nothing. You are lazy and unproductive. In contrast, I am busy all of the time. So here is what ‘I’ am going to do:
“Lampstand you must be removed from your place and be replaced by me, the hard-working one, the Dry Measuring Bowl.”
For you, you worthless Lampstand, cannot be trusted to treat the Light aright. Therefore, I must immediately ‘ascend’ to your place that is higher than I. Now instead of just standing there with the Light and letting the LIght do all of the work, I will be far more productive. I will do all of the work Myself and make the Light to rest.”
So, the Measuring Bowl replaced the Lampstand and made the Light to rest; so he covered the Light and did all of the work himself.
Therefore, the Dry Measuring Bowl covered the Light with his own Self; and in doing so he made the Light to rest under his covering; while he did all of the work through his own Self. For unlike the previous care-taker of the LIght, the lampstand, the Dry Measuring Bowl was the most productive and hard-working one whose most praiseworthy work was to *measure everything, and everybody, everywhere, all the day long.
Absurdity Response #2: The second absurdity is the ‘Under the Bed’ Approach. We treat this second absurdity as a successor to the first absurdity of the Dry Measuring Bowl. An animated illustration of this second more progressive approach might sound something like the following imaginary religious education lesson given by a Teacher to a group of children.
Teacher: “Now children several years have gone by since the Dry Measuring Bowl first replaced the lampstand that he might give rest to the Light and protect the Light under the covering of his own Self. As you all recall from your history lessons, the lampstand was replaced for not doing his job. And what was his job, children?”
Children: “Preserving the sacredness of the ‘traditions’ of the Light and keeping the Light safe.”
TEACHER: “Very well said children. Yes the responsibility of the lampstand was to preserve the sacredness of the traditions of the Light and keep the Light safe. And where children is the Light and His sacredness right now?”
TEACHER: “That’s right little ones. And we all owe a great debt of gratitude to the Dry Measuring Bowl for all the great things he has done for us in the past and continues to do for us in the present. Due to his great leadership and guidance we are productive all the day long. And what is it that we do all the day long children?”
TEACHER: “Well said my little measuring ones. Now today I have some very special news for you: our beloved leader the Dry Measuring Bowl wants you to know that he has chosen a successor and he wants me to introduce him to you today. Therefore, I have the distinct honor and pleasure of introducing to you our new leader, the successor to the Dry Measuring Bowl—-“Under the Bed:”
The Dry Measuring Bowl has appointed his successor and his name is “Under the Bed.”
‘Under the Bed’ is the esteemed one who our most wise Dry Measuring Bowl and his seventy-two elders has chosen to guard, protect, and watch over the Light and His sacredness.”
Therefore, when the Dry Measuring Bowl successfully passed on to the children his sacred work—of measuring everything, and everybody, everywhere, all the day long—he moved the Light and His sacredness to a special new more suitable (permanent) location. So the Dry Measuring Bowl moved the Light and His sacredness to His very own ‘resting place.’ Under the Bed was the new permanent resting place where the Light and His sacredness could safely be ‘hidden’ and completely ‘left alone’ (forever).
This leads us to our third and final absurdity: the “Movement of the Light to the Crypt.”
The third and final absurdity is the Movement of the Light to the Crypt. Messiah speaks of this final absurdity when He says, “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a crypt, nor under a basket (seah), but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”
The fact is the word translated “crypt” in the mashal can also be translated as “covered way,” “vault,” or “cellar.” So we could also call the third absurdity the Movement of the Light to the Cellar. In this latter description we would see the Light being taken down from its original lofty position perched up high upon a lampstand—-and put down in a cellar. In any case, the point here is that no matter which way you translate the word “crypt,” the graphic picture here of the Messiah’s narrative is that someone is deliberately trying to—-“cover,” “bury,” and “hide” the Light of Adonai. For this reason we strongly believe:
The Movement of the Light from the Lampstand to the Crypt is by far the worst of the three absurdities.
Why is this absurdity—the movement of the Light to the crypt—the worst of the three absurdities? We believe this final absurdity is the worst of all three absurdities because it is not a matter of misplaced priorities; rather, it is a deliberate, willful attempt to permanently cover-up and hide the glorious Light of Adonai from public view. This being done by our religious leaders putting the Light of Adonai where it does not belong—out of public view—in a hidden private burial place (or cellar); where no one will ever see His Light again.
The Solution that all the World needs to see:
So what have we learned thus far from the mashal of the removal of the Light from the Lampstand?
It is obvious to us after examining these three absurdities in a humorous way that there is a tremendous potential for evil and wickedness when it comes to our development of our own religious dogmas, man-made traditions, rituals, and symbols. We are not rejecting the Torah here. We are rejecting what we do with the Torah. The problem of the man-made busy-stuff seems to occur at some critical point where our own favorite sacred symbols, traditions, rituals, and systems (idols) start to ascend to a higher place in our lives than our actually trying to hear, understand, and obey the Living Torah of the Spirit of the Holy One.
The Solution to the problem of the three absurdities is very simple.
In this mashal of the “Lamp on a Stand” we believe Messiah is prophetically seeing into the future and opening up our (Israel’s) twenty-first century eyes to how our hyper-orthodox rabbinical movement (the Bramble Bush King) has gone astray measuring everything, everybody, everywhere, all of the time; as well as how long ago our Jewish priestly movement went astray trying to convert our heavenly Father’s House of Prayer (1st century CE) for “all the nations and peoples of the world” into their own personal “Get Rich Quick” business (i.e. a den of thieves and robbers). Therefore, so we say now is the time for us to once again hear the call:
Israel, be the Lampstand! Let the Light of Adonai (the Spirit of Messiah) shine through you out to the whole world!
Also, you gentile followers of our Messiah should be helping us (Israel). You should not be ignoring us; or worse yet, acting as if you have replaced us (*Israel). Like the failed Jewish orthodox rabbinical and priestly movements of our past we (modern) Jewish followers of Messiah firmly believe that nearly all of the (gentile) Christian movements of your past have failed us as well as. Today most of the “mainline” Christian movements (Roman Catholics, Protestants) continue to behave in an openly hostile manner toward our modern nation of Israel and our people (Jews). Yet, there is a very large modern Christian movement that gives us hope. Thankfully, we can say today that there is a growing population of millions of persons who are from the American “Evangelical” and international Pentecostal movements that sincerely love Israel and our people (1, 2, 3, 4).
*In loving-kindness may we ask you Christians who are openly hostile to us: How can even one of you claim to love the Messiah, yet not love every one of us who are both His people (Jews) and of His nation (Israel)?
Speaking the truth in love: G-d is not yet finished with us (Israel). Read your Scriptures. We know from the Scriptures that it is the will of our heavenly Father that we (Israel) be His Light to the gentiles; and not the other way around. Inevitably our people shall be completely returned to both our full elect status and place. We have been called by the Spirit, as attested to by both the prophets and the Messiah, to be the Lampstand that projects the Light of Adonai our Father to all of the world. It is the Father’s irrevocable will that we (Israel) be the Lampstand of His Great LIght. And know this: when we do lift up the Messiah over us (as a nation and as a people) then will His Great Light return to Israel and shine out brighter than ever before upon all of the nations, peoples, and families of the world!
Where did all the Trouble Begin?
Failure #1. The trouble began when the primacy of the gracious Light in the World was gradually displaced by an obsessive human desire to ‘measure’ (judge) things; a job that only belongs to G-d.
Failure #2. Consequently, the whole practical issue of judging and measuring seemingly called into question the original practice of leaving the Light alone, on its Stand, to freely project its Light out to everyone.
Failure #3. Tragically, the people who were busy measuring and judging became so blinded by their own faith in themselves that they actually replaced G-d as the Shofet (the Judge). As these leaders worked themselves up into a prideful frenzy of judging they ended up covering the good news (graciousness) of the Light with their own bad news (hyper-legalism) covering of darkness. For these reasons the Mashiach has taught us:
אל תשפטו למען לא תשפטו, כי במשפט אשר אתם שופטים תשפטו ובמדה אשר אתם מודדים ימדד לכם.פ
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Failure #4. These religious zealots decided that the Light should not ever be exposed to the irreligious common people but only come into contact with them (the Prushim and their successors). So Judaism became an elitist Jewish doctrinal system (orthodoxy) instead of the missionary faith (of abundant chesed) that Adoanai Avinu originally intended it to be. For this reason the Mashiach commanded His Jewish disciples:.
אמר להם: לכו אל כל העולם והכריזו את הבשורה לכל הבריאה. המאמין ונטבל יושע, ומי שלא יאמין יאשם.פ
He [Messiah] said to them [His Jewish disciples], “Go to the whole world and proclaim the good news (the besorah) to all creation.” He who believes and is immersed (baptized, cleansed by G-d’s Word of Forgiveness) is saved, and whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (1, 2, 3)
Therefore, this leads us finally to the only real and valid choice we have and that is the Solution to the three absurdities—-Just put the Light (the Spirit of Messiah) back upon the Lampstand (the nation and people ofIsrael) where He belongs and let the Presence of the Holy One shine out for everyone in the world to see!
Take care how you listen…
We believe it is here in the Solution-focused teaching of Messiah, in His parable of the hidden light and displaced Lamp on a Stand that we can see our way out of the problem of the negative and destructive way of the three absurdities. The first ray of hope (Light) here in the teaching of Messiah is in His making a very minor but very helpful substitution in the wording of the mashal. Do you see it already? Do you see the activity that He removed from the narrative?
Step #1. The first thing the Master does to solve the problem of the (hidden light) and the displaced Lampstand is He replaces the dry ‘measuring’ bowl. He replaces it with just an “ordinary container.” In His final teaching of the mashal of the Lamp on a Stand, the Messiah completely and deliberately strips-away the negative, condemning measuring capacity of the measuring bowl.
Step #2. The second thing the Master does is He puts the bed back in its proper role of giving people a place to Rest.
Step #3. The third thing Messiah does is He removes the lamp and the light out of the hands of the people who hid His Light in the Crypt (covered way, vault).
Step #4. The fourth and final thing the Messiah does after He personally takes the Light out from the control of the bowl, bed and crypt movements is He puts the Light back up on its Stand (Israel). He puts the Great Light of the Presence of the Spirit back where He, the LORD our G-d belongs—being ‘high and lifted up‘ in the midst of His people, who are dwelling in ‘His land’ of Israel. Then shall His Presence manifest His abundant grace worldwide for everyone—Jew and Gentile alike. Not just the Jewish religious people!
Lessons Learned and Final Word:
The three absurdity movements have gotten it all wrong as to what the purpose of the Light really is.
The Light was never supposed to be put in a state of preservation, protection, and rest. All along it was the will of the heavenly Father to put the Light of His Presence to work so that all of the nations, peoples, and families of the world could ultimately be made to enter into His Rest!
According to the Messiah’s remarks it is quite clear that the Light and the Temple were created to work for the people and not the other way around. In truth, the five-fold objectives of the lesson of the Lamp and the Stand, the Measuring Bowl, the Bed, and the Crypt are:
Lesson #1. To make us see the Light of Adonai’s glorious-gracious Presence ruling as from a “City of Light on a hill.”
Lesson #2. For Adonai our Father to do the judging and the measuring and no one else.
Lesson #4. For the Head of all things to deal with all the creepy stuff that dwells in the cellar below.
Lesson #5. Lastly, for us to renounce the absurd religious philosophies of the Measuring Bowl, the Under the Bed, and the Moving the Light to the Crypt (Movements). This removal of the burden of the three absurdities from our daily lives should leave us free to fullly embrace the loving-kindness (chesed) of Adonai Eloheinu with gladness and enter His courts (the joy of His Presence) with praise all the day long.
שִׁ֣ירוּ לַ֭יהוָה בָּרֲכ֣וּ שְׁמ֑וֹ בַּשְּׂר֥וּ מִיּֽוֹם־לְ֝י֗וֹם יְשׁוּעָתֽוֹ׃
Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.
QUESTION: So what about our doing good works that will cause the people to glorify Avinu Shebashamayim, our Father in heaven?
ANSWER: There are no works that we need do in and of our own selves any more! The Holy Spirit is doing His works. The Holy Spirit is the Servant-leader of us all (our Friend). He does all of the work with, upon, in, and through us. We are to enter into Rest from our works so that the great works of G-d (the Light of His Presence) might shine from Him, through us, out to the entire world. For these reasons we must ask Abba Avinu for his gift of the Indwelling Presence of His Spirit. For although we are imperfect, He is perfect and He can and will help us in our weakness. For these reasons it is written:
הֵן־אַתֶּם הָרָעִים יֹדְעִים לָתֵת מַתָּנוֹת טֹבוֹת לִבְנֵיכֶם אַף־כִּי הָאָב מִן־הַשָּׁמַיִם יִתֵּן אֶת־רוּחַ הַקֹּדֶשׁ לַשֹּׁאֲלִים מֵאִתּוֹ׃
הן אתם הרעים יודעים לתת מתנות טובות לבניכם, כל שכן האב שבשמים יתן את רוח הקדש למבקשים ממנו!פ
“”See, (if) you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children. (Then) Even more so, the Father (in heaven) will give the Holy Spirit from heaven to those who ask of Him!”
THEREFORE: We must ask for and receive the gift of Avinu Shebashashamayim: the gift of the Indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. Without the gift of the heavenly Father dwelling within us our faith (Judaism) will remain dead—-without the saving works of the Spirit of the Living G-d (Ruach Elohim Chayim).
This is a true saying: for faith without the pure, undefiled, perfect works of the Holy Spirit is a dead faith. Our works that are not of the Holy Spirit are all wood, hay, and stubble. Our works apart from the Spirit of the Holy One are all dead works. Our dead works that originate from the cellar (vanity) of our own corrupt, socially conditioned Self-life will never measure-up to the the perfect standard of Elohim Avinu (G-d our Father):
Only the perfect works of the Holy Spirit will pass through the fiery test of Adonai’s Judgment.
In this new Humble Age of our becoming ordinary containers (think-small, be little, mini-size yourself) the Spirit of Grace and Truth is doing all the work, all the time, everywhere, and with everybody; while we are (now) free to engage in a process of never-ending prayer, praise, worship and rest.
So rejoice! The Good News is you never have to work again!
Instead get ready to get lots of rest. You will need it. For as we grow together in Abba Avinu and we worship together in greater measure—please don’t ever call it (our worship) work ever again. From now on call all of the good works of His Creation—including your own individual self—‘His workmanship (masterpiece):
Therefore, we are His workmanship; preordained to do the good works of His Hands; not our own.
This is a true saying because we are now made holy and all that we do is holy—for we exist in a continual state of perpetual fellowship with and radical (eternal) dependence upon the Holy One. This is so because His good works are already breaking-forth upon, in, and through us (Israel) in greater and greater measure. The Light of Avi Ha’Orot (the Father of Lights) is now shining brighter and brighter each day until the promise of His City of Lights on a Hill becomes a reality. May that day come soon: when the Light of His day of rest never-ends; and when the darkness of night is never seen by any of us ever again!