Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sermon on the Mount, Day 12 of 40: The Light of the World

Matthew 5: 14-16
You are the light of the world.  A city built on a hill cannot be hid.  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven.

Jesus describes His followers using the same terms that He used to describe himself in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life; and again in John 9:5, "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  If Jesus is the light of the world, how can His followers be the light of the world?

Have you ever been outside on a cloudless night when there was a full moon?  The light of the moon fills the night sky.  The moon's light is so bright that you can even see your shadow on the ground.  But the moon's light is not really its light.  The light of the moon is actually the light of the sun reflected off the moon's surface to earth.  The sun's light is really the light of our world during the day and at night.

In the same way, followers of Christ are to be the reflected light of the Son to a world in darkness.

This light, given to us by Christ, is meant to be shared.  The light of Christ is meant to be seen in the world.  Christ's followers should not retreat from the world but living unafraid and unashamed in the world, actively involved in the activities of the world, showing the world the love of Christ in the way we treat others, in the way we perform our jobs, in the way we play, in the way we drive, in the language we use.  In this way, our light will lead others to God.

 A light can also be a warning light.  As a child, my family would vacation a couple of weeks every summer on the coast of North Carolina.  One of my favorite memories is getting up early before the sun and helping my father load the car, then sitting in the backseat with my brothers and my sister while my father drove us to the beach in the darkness of a cool summer early morning.  Along the way, I remember the road forked and in the middle of the fork was a bright, blinking light.  My father and mother would always have different opinions as to which fork of the road to take.  We knew that one fork led directly to the beach, and the other fork would take us to a small town where we had to circle around in order to get to the beach and would add about 30 minutes to our trip.  The blinking light was a warning that a decision had to be made.

If we are the light of the world, let us point the way to God, the true light, not the way that leads to ourselves or away from God.

Tomorrow we will study the law and the Prophets.




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