Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV)
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.“
In the previous entry of my Daily Bible Journal, I considered what it means to be the “salt of the earth” and the implications of the salt losing its saltiness. Jesus follows this teaching by describing those who are living out the kingdom life of the Beatitudes as the “light of the world” and a “city set on a hill.”
He says we do not hide this light but instead put it on a stand which gives light “to all in the house.” But not everyone will like it!
Jesus said in John 3:19-20, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
If you’re in darkness and someone turns a light on, everyone can see except those who are blind.
In the spiritual context, the light is shining on a stand but the blind do not receive the benefit from it nor do they come to it. Because their deeds are evil, they love the darkness rather than the light, keeping their “wicked things” hidden from sight.
Jesus said of Himself, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Another aspect of us being called “the light of world” is found in John 9:5 where Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Now that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34), WE ARE HIS LIGHT!
Jesus goes on to say this “city on a hill” cannot be hidden. He doesn’t say it will not be hidden. He said it cannot be hidden. How profound is this sovereign truth?
It’s astonishing that Jesus would ever refer to flawed human beings as a light of the world and a city on a hill. Even though we have His Spirit and His Word to guide us, we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Yet His glory is made manifest in us and through us by our good works, and seen by others because of the light of Christ in us.
1 Peter 2:9 says of us, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Though persecution will come, as His light I want to shine His glory to those who do evil and love the darkness rather than the light. After all, I was also once in darkness until He called me into His marvelous light.
Father, thank you for calling me out of darkness. I want my life to be a reflection of the gratitude I have for all that you’ve done in my life. May you give me opportunity to shine my light so that others glorify you. Help me to not hide my light but instead put it on a stand so that everyone will know how marvelous you are. In the name of Jesus Christ and for your glory I pray, Amen.
Thank you for reading my Daily Bible Journal!
Reading, reflecting and writing from the Bible has so radically impacted my life in Christ, it’s as if I’ve been on auto-pilot when reading the Bible in the past. There’s something about “sitting with the text” and through prayerful reflection, sharing what comes to mind. Because I’m posting online for others to read, I consider my words carefully and try to be clear and accurate.
This daily process enhances my understanding of God’s Word and embeds it into my conscience. It literally gets “hidden in my heart!”
I hope this encourages others to be in God’s Word every day.
For God’s Glory,