You Are the Light of the World

The Sermon on the Mount (Part 8)

“You are the light of the world.  A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15).

Light and darkness is a huge theme in the teachings of Jesus and the letters of the apostles.  Light equates with life.  And walking in the light is experiencing the life of Christ, His life in us.

Darkness represents being lost.  Lost without Christ.  Walking in darkness is missing the light and life of Christ inside because it was never there.  Darkness equates with spiritual death.

“In Him [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5).  Jesus’ promise in the Sermon on the Mount is that some will “comprehend it” and literally become “the light of the world.”

Later in the gospels, Jesus identifies Himself as the light of the world.  “Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life’ “ (John 8:12).  And we who believe have become His sons, sons of light.  “Jesus said to them, ‘For a little while longer the light is among you … While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light’ “ (John 12:35-36).

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus is looking ahead to a day when we will be more than light followers.  He is announcing that a time is coming when those who believe in Him, the Light of the world, will literally become lights themselves.  How can we and Jesus both be the “light of the world?”

This can only happen when all distance and separation that once existed between us and Jesus is taken away.  And that separation ended at the cross.  It became real in you and I when we believed the gospel message of Jesus Christ.  When you believed, the light of the world became the light inside you.  You are more than a light bearer, a light reflector, a light follower.  By virtue of Christ in you, you ARE the light of the world!

And God’s design is for His light that dwells in you to be on display in the world.  Your light belongs on a lampstand where it can “give light to all who are in the house.”  There is no pride in taking your place on the lampstand, because the light inside you is a pure gift of God’s grace.  You did not become the light by your talent, ingenuity, good works, smarts, or whatever.  The light came to you because Christ paid the price for your sin, rescued you out of the darkness, and filled your insides with light the minute you believed.

“For God, who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness,’ is the One who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (II Corinthians 4:6).  Shine on, my friend.  May the world see the glory of God shining forth from your pure heart.  And may the world see the face of Christ in your countenance today!