You are the Light of the World
Last week we looked at the incredible statement, “We are the salt of the earth.” Today we are going to look to how Jesus continues the theme of who we are in Him and how that affects the world we live in. It is absolutely critical we understand we aren’t trying to become something; we are already salt and light because we have His life within us.
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
You are the light of the world.
Jesus will not accept covert discipleship. In these verses we have one of the most incredible statements about a Christian that was ever made. Our Lord, looking out on those simple people, those entirely unimportant people from the standpoint of the world, says, “You are the light of the world.” What a remarkable and glorious thing it is to be a Christian!
Jesus is the light of the world. The Lord said, “You are the light of the world” and also, “I am the light of the world.” These two statements must always be taken together, since the Christian is only “the light of the world” because of his relationship to “The Light of the World.” He is the light that shines in and through us.
Believers are the only light the world has. You are the light of the world – the you is emphatic. You are all the light the world has to expose its darkness. He let His light shine in the world and went to the cross so He could plant His life in you. This way the world will see His light shining through. The life of the light is in stark contrast to those in darkness.
The world is in a state of darkness. The world is always talking about its enlightenment. The controlling theory of the world has been all man needs is more knowledge. However, the clear implication of Christ’s statement is just the opposite as Scripture still proclaims the world is in a state of gross darkness. In spite of having discovered great and new knowledge, the world the world has failed to discover the most important thing of all, namely what to do with that knowledge? Knowledge informs but by itself, can’t transform.
Matthew 4:16 “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
They persecuted Him and finally crucified Him just because He was the light of the world. His light revealed the hidden things of darkness that were within them.
Light shows the way out of darkness. Light not only exposes the darkness; it shows and provides the only way out of the darkness. This is where every Christian should be jumping to task. What can be done about sin and its darkness? “You must be born again.” The Christian is here to shine mankind to the way of God.
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.
In other words, if we are truly Christian we cannot be hidden. The contrast between us and unbelievers is to be self-evident and perfectly obvious. We are called to be people, individually and as a community, whose lives shine brightly. Not by making statements of what we’re against, but by letting our light be known.
Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
He asks us, in effect, to imagine a man lighting a light and then putting it under a basket rather than on a candlestick. Our Lord is claiming it is ridiculous and contradictory to cover a light. The whole purpose of lighting a light is to give light. The moment it ceases to act as light it has no value. When we live like the world we put a basket over our light. When we live religiously, rather than relationally with Jesus, a basket covers our light. If you have been covering your light, uncover it!
Let your light so shine before men,
The business of salt is to be salt, just that. The characteristic of salt is saltiness. It is exactly the same with light. The whole function and purpose of light is to give light. But how prone we are to forget these essential functions of salt and light.
That they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
The world needs to see God’s work of transformation in our lives and how it affects the world for good. Good works should never draw attention to ourselves but to God. The Christian, who has become light of the Lord, is to shine for his Lord. Our holiness, or good deeds, will then be seen and others will be drawn to glorify God. We have a great outreach opportunity to let our light shine in this dark valley.
Remember! You aren’t trying to be the light of the world. In Christ you are the light of the world!
May you have an incredible week. Maybe sing this old hymn in your heart, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let is shine.”
You are loved!