Light of the World
Matthew 5:1-16 NKJV
As part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 Jesus gave the crowd a blessing. Each blessing outlined a human condition that was followed by the gift that God would give them in return.
*Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
*Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
*Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
*Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.
*Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.
*Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
*Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God
*Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus tells the crowd they are SALT but if salt looses its seasoning it isn’t good for anything.
Then Jesus tells them in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Imagine you are part of the crowd on the mount that day. Each blessing Jesus gave spoke to you in a different way. You understand what it’s like to be poor, to mourn, to be meek and to be hungry. You can relate to needing mercy. You have gone to Temple desiring purity. You want peace. You have been persecuted. You can relate to all of those things.
But for each one of those, you had no answers. Being poor, mourning, being helpless and hungry meant you needed mercy but that is way beyond your reach. You have desired purity and peace but you didn’t know how to obtain them. You have been persecuted but you accepted it as a way of life.
That day as you sat there, Jesus offered you promises that God SEES you and will give you what you desire most. In the whole of their lives no one had told them that.
Then He tells you that you are the salt…the basic elements of the earth but He also says you need to be seasoned.
Jesus tells you that You are the light of the world and your light is on a mountain so that it cannot be hidden. He tells YOU that your light is so bright that it can’t be hidden. It’s on a lamp stand that is so bright it gives light to everyone and because of you they can SEE. Because of you, God will be glorified.
As you sit there in the crowd on the mountain that day you are stunned. No one, no Rabbi has ever told you things like this…especially a famous Rabbi like Jesus. For the first time you are being told that you are special. You are told that even though you are poor in spirit you will go to heaven. The list of blessings runs through your mind and you desperately want everything Rabbi Jesus tells you that day.
You want to be the salt of the earth. You desire the seasoning. You listen.
More than that, Jesus makes you want God. He makes You feel like you matter to God. He makes it personal. You’ve gone to Temple all your life but your heart has never burned like it does when Jesus speaks. Jesus makes you feel like you can make a difference…your light can shine! It can shine so brightly that no one can extinguish it. No matter what, your light will shine and can make it so others can see.
Then Rabbi Jesus says because of you, others will see God’s glory.
In your entire life no one has made you feel like you are that important. No one has told you your light can shine so brightly that it will shine on goodness giving glory to God. As you look at Jesus and hear His words your heart is pounding so hard you feel like it will leave your body.
You want to believe you matter, and why not believe that? If you believe in Jesus, you must believe it’s true. You must believe YOU matter.
And so you do.
What started as a dream becomes hope. Then hope gives way to desire. And desire becomes believing. And believing becomes truth.
Your light matters.
Your light is so bright that it cannot be hidden.
Even if you try to hide your light behind a bushel it cannot be hidden.
Your light WILL shine and others will see Jesus IN you. Because they will see Jesus in you, God WILL be glorified.
Nothing can extinguish your light.
Nothing. The light of Jesus IS in you and you cannot hide it.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Jesus’ Light
SEE, feel, and experience Jesus IN you and know YOU are the LIGHT of the world.
In God, Deborah