Text: ` Matthew 5:14-16
By: Marvis Kaine
The importance of light cannot be over-emphasized especially when we live in a world that is filled with darkness. The world is in great need of light and hence this morning we shall be admonishing ourselves with Christ declaration on the mountain as recorded in our Matt 5:14a
14 “You are the light of the world.
Light is “the quality of being luminous.” Emitting or reflecting light”; It is any device serving as a source of illumination.
God is light and in Him there is no darkness- I John 1:5.
Christ being the son of God declared that He is the light of the world and that he who follows Him will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life- John 8:12, 9:5, 12:35, 46, Matthew 4:16,
Light is a condition of spiritual awareness. Man, naturally, is incapable of receiving spiritual light inasmuch as he lacks the capacity for spiritual things, 1 Corinthians 2:14; 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Christians are the light of the world. Believers upon baptism are transformed from darkness to light. Eph. 5:8; 8 for you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light
Believers are called ‘sons of light,’ Luke 16:8, not merely because they have received a revelation from God, but because in the New Birth they have received the spiritual capacity for it.
The scriptures made us to understand that whatever light we possess does not originate within ourselves. Our light comes from the Lord. It is a reflection of His. Take note, Christian can only become light in the Lord. Outside Christ is darkness.
The purpose of every light is to dispel darkness. Christ’s statement in verse 14a implies that the world is in darkness. Some of the darkness is as result of being ignorant of the light especially the light of God’s word and some is as a result of willfully rejecting the light! Light cannot be anything other than what it is. It is bright, it dispels darkness; it enables people to see what they are doing.
Christ this morning is strongly urging you and me and all his followers to “let your light shine”- Matthew 5:16a.
To “Shine” means “to give light”
It is unfortunate some lights have become dim that it cannot illuminate the darkness.
As sons of God and as followers of Christ, we are to “shine as lights in the world’’. The war between the children of Light and children of darkness is inevitable because the lives of faithful children are a silent rebuke to those who live ungodly and this can lead to persecution- Matthew 5:10-12.
However, light does not just expose ugliness. It provides the illumination needed to correct ugliness- David Roper. Light creates the way men needs to follow.
Christ in our text gave two illustration to tell the significance of light. Firstly he used “a city on a hill.” A city on a Hill cannot be hidden- Matt 5:14b. Christ was simply saying that even as a city on hill cannot be hidden, so the Christian light is not to be hidden. It is to shine forth dispelling darkness wherever it find himself.
The second illustration is verse 15a- “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand.” This point refers to something that could cover a lamp. Any hidden lamp is good-for-nothing. In time past, the church here at Grey Street used gas lamp during mid-week classes. Imagine if the lamp was put on and place under a bench. The meeting place will be dark and the impact of the lamp will not be felt. What Christ is simply saying is that it is foolish to light a lamp and a hide it. See Mark 4:21 Luke 8:16.
Christ did not stop there, He went further to say that “you light a lamp and put it on a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house. The lampstand is whatever you place your lamp on to elevate it so it could illuminate the area.
In Matthew 5:16a He tell us why we need to let our light shine as believers; let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven.
The Christian goal is to please God and to do those things that will glorify Him.
There is nothing wrong with allowing others to know what we do for the Lord, as long as we do not do it so people will glorify and praise us. Our light is not to call attention to ourselves but to call attention to that which illuminates (God) – I Cor 10:31; therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Even our God given talent is to be used to glorified God- 1 Peter 4:11.
During His days on earth, Christ did many mighty works but in a way that those who saw them glorified God- Matt 9:8, 15:31.
Also the apostle did not hide their works but they did it in a way that people accepted Christ and glorified the father – Acts 2:43, 5:12.
To make our light shine as declared by Christ is to stop arguing and complaining. Philippians 2:14-15; 14 Do all things without [d]complaining and disputing,[e] 15 that you may become blameless and [f]harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.
Irrespective of how little your light is Christ is saying “let it shine”. Timothy James et al wrote the lyrics to this song; let it shine-;
“This little light of mine,
I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine let it shine,
You know it wants to come out,
Don’t hide your shine,”
To make your light shine, it means
- To Visit the Orphans &widows. Christians can make their light shine by carrying this simple act which the scripture defined as pure and undefiled religion. James 1:27- pure and undefiled religion before God and the father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble. NKJ
- To rescue the weak and saving the lost. One way to shine your light is by rescuing brethren that are weak in the faith and making disciples for Christ by teaching and preaching the word of God which the psalmist called light unto is path- psalm 119:105. Charles H Gabriel wrote in “Send the Light” hymn 466 SOC-
“There are souls to rescue,
There are souls to save,
Send the light, send the light. Believers can make their light shine by obeying this clarion call to send the light to rescue and save souls for Christ.
- By maintaining a healthy relationship in the society. The society will live in is fast decaying and ungodliness is fast increasing every day. Do we isolate ourselves from the society? No, that’s not what Christ is saying. He is saying that as Christians we can stay in it but as light. The Christian light can have a positive effect on the society by maintaining healthy relationship.
- By carrying out work of love. Love seeks opportunity to do good to all men, and especially in the household of the faith. Spread love everywhere you go; first of all in your own house; give love to your children, to your spouse and your neighbor. Let no one come to you without leaving better and happier. A Christian can make his light shine by being the living expression of God’s kindness Gal 6:10, Romans 12:9-10, I John 2:9-10, Hebrew 10:24
- By standing out from the world. To shine as a light, Christian must lead a life that is distinct from the ways of the world while exhibit trait of transformation. John 17:11, Romans 12:2.
- By being bold. To be able to let your light shine as a Christian, believers must be bold. There is no room to be shy whether you are timid or out-going, you are called to be light to the people around you. Believers are not called to be the light of the church but of the world. Hence, to shine in the world the Believer must be bold to have an influence in the world. Christians must let their light shine everywhere and every time.
- Be careful of what you say. To let your light shine, believers must be careful of what they say. Words are powerful and can be used for good or bad. “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. The purpose of our conversation is to build people up, to make them better people. We must be very careful of what we say. Col 4:6–Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Dearly beloved, Christ today is telling us believers to live an active live and not a passive one. Your circumstances are an opportunity to shine brightly for the Lord and not grow dim or weary.
“O Christians, do not hide your light!
For ye are the light of the world,
But keep it trimmed and burning bright
For ye are the light of the world”– Pearl Hatcheet
As we strive to dispel darkness from the world, may God almighty help us to shine so bright to His glory in Christ name Amen.