Matthew 5:14-16 KJV
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
In the verse just prior to our lesson scriptures, Jesus uses another metaphor to describe His followers. In that verse, he uses the metaphor of salt.
By using these metaphors of salt and light, Jesus is telling us that we are to have an influence on our small part of the world, for the glory of God. In other words, we are to make a difference. We are to have a positive impact.
In this lesson, we will only focus on the “light”, which according to Webster’s dictionary is something that makes vision possible.
Without getting too scientific, light is a powerful and miraculous thing. It is absolutely necessary for life and existence on this earth.
And obviously, it eliminates darkness. Where there is any amount of light, darkness is no longer. Think about the darkness that comes on a stormy night when the power goes out. Just a small candle can remove the blackness that surrounds us.
Besides the physical aspect of light, we know that this is also true spiritually. Think about and meditate on the following scriptures for a minute.
Psalm 119:105 KJV
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:130 KJV
130 The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Also, Jesus said “I am the light of the world.”
John 12:46 KJV
46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
THE CITY AND THE CANDLE
In our lesson scriptures, Jesus says “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”
He then says “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick and it gives light to all that are in the house.”
In the first example of a city set on a hill, we believe that Jesus is referring to the “community of believers.” In other words, all Christians, who make up the body of Christ, whose collective light is more powerful than individual light.
If ALL Christians throughout the world were living their life as an obedient follower of Jesus, the impact would be seismic. It would be felt as the Bible says “in all corners of the earth.” It could not be hidden, as the light would be so brilliant and unmistakable that conversions to Christ would surely follow.
In the second example, I believe the candle represents the individual lives of all followers or Christians.
For our light to be a part of the collective “city”, we cannot hide it, but must make sure that it burns brightly for those in our circle of the world to see.
When those around us see the life of Jesus in our lives, it is definitely noticed. It makes a difference. It has an impact. It proves that our profession of faith is real and not just words.
It doesn’t only make an impact on those around us. God the Father is honored and glorified when others see Christ in us.
Yes, they see “our light” but more importantly they see the “light of Jesus” who came to destroy darkness.
WHAT ABOUT MY LIGHT?
If you have ever seen a kerosene lamp that has been used for a while, you will find that the globe gets dark colored as soot builds up on the inside of the glass. The result is the lamp doesn’t emit as much light as it did before the soot buildup. However, when the globe is cleaned, the lamp produces as much light as before.
Sometimes in our Christian lives, we can get complacent. Or, too busy. Or, preoccupied with earthly matters. For whatever reason, our light might get dimmer or darkened.
These scriptures should force us to look at our lives and humbly consider the influence we have on our circle of the world.
We need to contemplate the following questions.
- How bright is my individual light shining?
- Is my light hidden under a bushel of any kind or in any way?
- Can I be a brighter light for Jesus?
- What do I need to do to be a brighter light for Jesus?
Heavenly Father, in our world of darkness, let us make sure that we are shining brightly as the light of Jesus, for others to see.