14 “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.”Matthew 5:14-16 ESV
Many of us have heard or seen this verse before. We have at least a general idea of what it means. We are supposed to be an example to those still in the darkness of sin of the joy and freedom a life with Christ entails.
Jesus is the one who is speaking in Matthew 5 and telling us we are the light of the world. It is also Jesus speaking in John 8:12 when He says:
12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “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 ESV
Hold on…are we the light of the world or is Jesus? Is this a contradiction in the Bible? Did Jesus make a mistake by saying He was the light of the world or by saying we are the light of the world?
If you understand the Gospel you understand Christ now dwells within us through the Holy Spirit. It is Christ in you which is the light of the world. We are desperately dependent upon Him to be agents of change in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, families, etc. We cannot go out thinking we are the answer to the world’s problems. Jesus is.
So why do we constantly rely on a new program, new strategy, or new method to be the light of the world? Being the light of the world isn’t about a program, strategy, or method. It’s about Jesus. Allowing Jesus to shine through us to the world.
It’s about the heart attitude; less of me, more of you, Jesus. If we each have a vibrant, passionate relationship with our Savior, we would be natural lights. We wouldn’t need to rely on a program, strategy, or method. We would have enough evidence from our personal walk with our Savior to explain to anyone why He is worth giving our entire life to glorify and honor Him.
You don’t have to pull it out of me for me to tell you why I think I got the best deal a guy has ever gotten in me marrying my wife. Why? Because I love her and I spend most every day with her and have seen it evidenced time after time after time.
Some of us need to spend more time with Jesus so His character would be evidenced to us time after time after time. Then, maybe, just maybe, pastors wouldn’t have to beg their people to be the light of world. We wouldn’t need to rely on a new program, strategy, or method. We wouldn’t need direction on how to share our love for the one who loved us while we were unlovable.
Maybe then we’d be natural lights.