Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
These two verses are considered a parable by many theologians, but not included by others.
We believe it is a parable, as it is an allegory (a symbolic story or picture that reveals a hidden meaning) and fits the definition of a parable, as a simple story to illustrate a spiritual lesson.
In our lessons, we often talk about being “the light of the world”, which Jesus calls His followers.
As a believer, it is our calling, and I believe has a greater impact on our small circle of the world than pastors, deacons or teachers.
Please think about this for a few minutes and dwell on the fact that this is your first calling as a believer in Christ. You may have more, but this is your first calling.
With the blessings of being a child of God, comes responsibilities.
We have the responsibility to show God’s love, mercy and grace to the world, in effect, being the “light of the world.”
Light is an important theme in the Bible.
We all understand the difference between physical light and darkness and the difficulty that darkness brings to so many tasks.
Metaphorically, Jesus takes the physical or literal light and darkness to the spiritual analogy of light and darkness.
JESUS, FIRST and FOREMOST IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
Jesus proclaims that He is the light of the world, the light that will enlighten people, enabling all who believe in Him to escape spiritual darkness.
John 1:4-9 NIV
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
John 8:12 NIV
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
John 1:4 NIV
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
John 12:46 NIV
46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
BELIEVERS ARE AN EXTENSION OF THIS LIGHT
Jesus is the primary and foremost “light of the world” and those who believe in Him have the responsibility to be an extension of this light.
As a child of God or current day disciple, we are the extension of this light to the world.
As a true follower of Jesus, our light cannot be hidden, for the Holy Spirit lives within us and our life is a living/walking testimony of the love, mercy and grace of God.
Ephesians 5:8 NIV
8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
Philippians 2:15 KJV
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Our lives are changed when we humbly bow in repentance and acceptance of Jesus as our Lord. Our thoughts change. Our actions change. Our words change. We truly become a visible “light” to those around us, helping others see God and Jesus through our lives.
If our light is shining brightly, we may never know how many people have seen it and made the decision to accept Christ into their lives. The one thing we know for certain is that it will have a definite impact on our circle of the world.
If our light is not shining, it is because we are not living what we have professed. We are not being obedient to God our Father. This too will certainly have a definite impact on our small circle of the world and will do harm to the work of the body of believers.
The world (those who have rejected Christ as Lord) lives in spiritual darkness. It is our job to be the light that can help lead them out of a life of sin.
Is our light shining brightly?
Does the world see Christ and His teachings in us?... in our words, actions and deeds?
We are the “light” that the world needs.
Our light will never be hidden, if we are obedient to God and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is what our circle of the world needs.
It is the first calling of everyone who professes Christ as Lord and Savior.
It is what God expects of His children.