Christians Are The Light Of The World


Christians are the LIGHT OF THE WORLD

‘You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:14-16

In addition to being ‘salt,’ Jesus’ disciples are also ‘light’, namely, ‘the light of the world.’ The purpose of light is to enable people to see. Light provides 1. illumination, 2. guidance, and 3. warning.

Physical lights shine to dispel darkness, and in so doing serve as guides and warnings, e.g., headlights and lighthouses.

Spiritual lights should function in the same manner, Psalm 119:105 / Proverbs 4:18-19. God wants the world to see the truth, and our lights, our lives should reveal His truth, John 8:12 / John 9:5 / Philippians 2:15. His truth should be clearly seen in our lives just as a city set on a hill is seen from all directions.

Think of the foolishness of lighting a lamp and then hiding its light. The purpose of lighting a lamp is to provide light for people to see. A major purpose in following Christ is to provide spiritual light for others to see.

We mustn’t hide under a ‘basket’ for any reason, whether it is fear, indifference, love of the world, misplaced priorities, etc. Truly, we cannot be a secret disciples of Christ, either the secrecy will destroy the disciple or the disciple will destroy the secrecy.

If we light a lamp and put it under a basket, either the basket will smother the flame and the light will go out, Matthew 13:22, or the lamp will ignite the basket, burning it away for the light to be seen by all, Jeremiah 20:9. We must let out lights shine.

For whom should we let our lights shine? The world! Why? That they might take notice of us and exalt us? No! That they might observe our good deeds and give glory and honour to the heavenly Father? Yes!

I’m sure you are aware that this is the first time the word ‘Father’ is used in the New Testament. Note also that He is ‘your Father’, He is our Father, He is my Father.

While God is known to the patriarchs as ‘God Almighty’, Genesis 17:1, and to the Jews as ‘Yahweh’, Exodus 3:13-15, we know him primarily as ‘Our Father’, Luke 11:2.

Jesus called God, ‘Abba’  which in Aramaic means Father, Mark 14:36, the Holy Spirit calls God, Abba, Father, Galatians 4:6, and Christians can call God Abba, Father, Romans 8:15.

Christians should desire that others see their good works in order that others will be drawn to God. The good works we do shouldn’t all be secrets, otherwise, we are hiding under a basket and not fulfilling our purpose as ‘light’ for God.

I believe there is a big difference between ‘shining your light’ and ‘letting your light shine.’ The glory for good works is to go to the heavenly Father, not the individual!

Yes, it is pleasing to God for people to see our good works, but only if we aren’t performing them to receive personal glory, Matthew 6:1-18.

In the same way, salt isn’t to draw attention to itself but emphasise the natural flavour of the food. Salt shouldn’t cover up or overpower the taste of food and neither should a light draw attention and honour to itself.

After all, people don’t praise the streetlights that protect them from thieves and assault, but they do praise the city administration which furnishes the lights! God is the giver of light and every perfect gift, James 1:17.

We are nothing, except His servants. May we remember that and continually seek to direct praise to Him and not ourselves. To do such shows a thankful, humble spirit on our part. Such an attitude pleases God.

How can we be the light of the world, when Jesus is the light of the world? John 8:12 / John 9:5. An illustration may be useful to answer this question.

The moon which shines in the night sky, actually doesn’t give off any light, it only reflects the light from the sun. In the same manner, we are to reflect the light of Christ in the world, as we walk in the light of God, 1 John 1:5-7.

The primary idea of Matthew 5:13-16 is that Jesus’ disciples should have a great positive influence on those they come in contact with. This influence will never materialise if Christians are content to hide in saltshakers or under baskets. You cannot be a secret disciple!