Matthew 5:14-16

Let Your Light So Shine Before Men

Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good work and glory you Father in heaven.

Christ continued his sermon, switching from salt to light. The people had come early in the morning and as the sermon continued the sun rose higher and higher in the blue sky chasing away the shadows that lurked in the valleys. The placid surface of the nearby sea reflected the golden light and mirrored the rosy cloud of morning. Every bud of flower and leafy spray glistened with dew while birds sang sweetly among the trees.

The Saviour looked upon those seated before him, then looked upon the rising sun and said to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world.” It was as if He was saying to them; “As the sun slowly proceeds across the sky from east to the west on its errand of love, dispelling before it the darkness and then warming all those in its wake. Then as it continues across the sky it wakes those from the slumber of sleep to a world of life.” This represents the mission of the followers of Christ. They are to go forth on their mission of diffusing the darkness of earth with the light of heaven. Exchanging the darkness of error and sin for the light and truth of heaven and leaving in their wake the worm glow of Christ’s love.

Christ Jesus, the Saviour of the world is the only light that can illuminate the darkness of the world lying in sin. John 1:4 states; “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.” It is only when we take on the character of Christ, those character traits of the beatitudes that we can become the salt of the earth to preserve and slow the decaying process caused by sin. We must also be the light that shines from the city set on a hill to illuminate the world to God’s love.

For many that sat near the feet of Jesus, they knew what Christ meant when he said; “Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand and it shines unto all that are in the house.” These peasants and fishermen lived in lowly dwellings that were just one room. A lamp stand was placed upon a low table in the middle of the room and from its lofty height, it would shine into all corners of the house. One would never think of covering the lamp to reduce its light unless it was time for sleep.

John 17:18 is part of Jesus’ prayer to His father on our behalf. As You have sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. We can only be effective as a light in this world when the character of Christ is reproduced in our hearts and our lives. Christ’s life reflected the character of His Father, so we should reflect the character of Christ. Why? Because Christ is the great source of illumination, but let us not forget that he has chosen to reveal this light to the world through humanity. All of heaven’s angels wait to communicate through you and me heaven’s light to the world. They await to dispel light to those that are perishing for want of light. For this to happen, we must surrender our will to the will of the Father which is in heaven as Christ surrendered His will to the Father.

Many believe that we should strive to make our light shine. Instead, he commands, Let it shine, and if Christ is dwelling in the heart, it is impossible to conceal the light of His presence in those who profess to be the true followers of Christ.

Noah was light to a generation doomed to be cleansed by the flood. Daniel and his three friends were light that illuminated a heathen King to the presence and power of the God in heaven. John the Baptizer was a lesser light pointing a generation of vipers to the greater light that was sent to save the world.

So let your light shine before man that they may see your good works. To see your good works would make one believe we are saved by works. The truth is our good works are a result of our communion with Christ and putting on his character that through us Christ can be glorified and the world can be illuminated with the love of God.

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.

Are you a light shining from the city set upon a hill? Are you the light set upon a lampstand that illuminates all in your presents to the truth about God? Do all your works bring glory to God? If we cannot answer yes, then we need to reexamine our lives, reprioritize our wants and desires until we desire only to be like Christ. Then and only then, will our light so shine before men.

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