Sermon on the Mount: The Light of the World

These next few verses are some of my favorites spoken by Jesus. In my last blog post, I talked about how Christians should be the “salt” of this earth. Jesus takes the metaphor a little farther and speaks about how Christians are to be the light of the world. Open your heart and mind and allow God’s word to transform you (Rom 12:2).

Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city 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 men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…

  • Jesus compares the Christian to a light. Not just a single light but a city full of lights and lamp that illuminates from its stand. But what does he mean by this? William Barclay describes it as, “A light is first and foremost something which is meant to be seen. So, then, Christianity is something which is meant to be seen. A man’s Christianity should be perfectly visible to all men.” During Creation, God separated light from darkness. The same thing happens when we become Christians and completely give everything to God. Just as God separated light from darkness, Christians should separate themselves from the world. Christians are the light amidst the darkness of the world. Those who are not Christians should notice this light pouring out of us. The light should be beaming and seeping out of us! Ephesians 5:8 says, “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!” If we turn our lives to Christ, why would we want to go back to the darkness?

Let it shine til Jesus comes, I’m gonna let it shine…

  • Barclay goes on to describe the light in a Christian’s life. “A light is a guide. A light is something to make clear the way. So then a Christian must make the way clear to others: that is to say, a Christian must of necessity be an example.” God not only wants us to shine our light for him, but he wants us to help guide and lead others to him. Once we shine and pour our light out and others see it, we can help lead them in the direction of Christ. How can we be the guide that we should be? Jesus says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Jesus is our Ultimate light. We can look to him for guidance. If we look to and abide with his light, we can lead and guide others to it as well.

Hide it under a bushel…NO! I’m gonna let it shine…

  • Verse 16 says that in the same way that we shine our light, our good deeds should shine out for all to see as well. If we are truly born again, our actions, words and deeds will reflect the light of Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Our Christian light will reveal all of these attributes. They will come natural to us because we are being led by the Spirit and the Spirit gives us our light. Barclay explains that our good deeds ought to draw attention, not to ourselves, but to God. If our deeds are true, God will get all the glory. However, if we are not careful we could end up hiding our lights from the world. The Life Application Bible explains some ways that we hide our light:  being quiet when we should speak, going along with the crowd, denying the light, letting sin dim our light, not explaining our light to others, or ignoring the needs of others. Let’s be bold glowing lights that shine the fruits of Jesus instead of hiding them under a bushel.

The Beatitudes describe our inner characteristics that we should possess individually. These attributes give us the strength to be the “Salt” and the “Light” to a lost a dying world. Are you a “salty” Christian? Do you put on your salt scrub every morning? Are you a glowing light for Christ? Does his light seep through you? My prayer is that you will take these precious words of Jesus and go out into the world to illuminate and flavor it with Jesus Christ.

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3 thoughts on “Sermon on the Mount: The Light of the World

  1. “Let’s be bold glowing lights that shine the fruits of Jesus instead of hiding them under a bushel.” Yep, I think that’s a great thing to think on. How bold of a light have I been recently? Barely glowing or brilliant for Christ?I love how you integrated the “This Little Light of Mine” song! I need to teach that to Rowen. Especially since this is my favorite verse.

    AND I do love a good salt scrub!!

    • Thank you L for being such salt and light to me, Angela and Tiffany and to so many others at ODF. You certainly reflect the glory of God to those around you and encourage me greatly!

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