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Matthew 5:14-16

Shine Your Light

14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


The Jewish people referred to their Rabbis, members of the Sanhedrin, and other teachers of the law as the "lights of the world." These, however, were not the source of light, but of darkness. They led people to a reliance on their own imagined righteousness and away from a true relationship and dependency on God.

Jesus called His disciples the "light of the world", to teach them three things about themselves and their ministry: (1) the nature of the new man within, (2) the purpose of the new man, and (3) the work of the new man.

Disciples of Jesus Christ are newly created to be like a city built on a hill. In the darkness, its lights can be seen for many miles. Perhaps this would have been a much more awesome sight to the people of that day. Since there was no electricity, they did not have an abundance of light, and traveling at night was treacherous, even if one carried a lantern. The weary traveler could not fail to miss a city set on a hill, whose many fires and oil lamps lit up the horizon in a spectacular array.

The Christian is like this city. We were made to be seen, and God's joy radiates from us in a way that every one will notice. We are the lights that lead others out of the darkness of a sinful world and into the safety of the City of God. There is no hiding us, no covering up of our message, and no excuse for being lost.

Jesus continued to explain in verse 15 that it is our purpose to give light to everyone whom we meet. By using a silly analogy, He illustrated how wrong it is for us to try to hide inside our church walls or to be ashamed of the gospel.

We light a lamp for the purpose of giving light to the house. Once lit, the lamp does not chose who will receive its light, instead, it shines on everyone in the room. Normally, the lamp was set up on a stand so its light would penetrate more areas of the room.

It would be every bit as silly to call ourselves Christians while trying to cover up the fact. Our purpose is to be a visible help to others, and it is our purpose to bring that help to every person who comes within our range by the sharing of the gospel.

"Let your light so shine..." is an imperative, a direct command which indicates that we are to get started with the work. Our efforts must reach out to everyone around us just as the rays of the light from the lamp.

Furthermore, we are not to limit ourselves to the mere preaching of the gospel. Words have little impact when they come from a hypocrite. The words that we preach must first be demonstrated in our own lives by good works.

By first observing our good works, people can see our sincerity, the effect of our salvation, the love of Christ imparted through the Holy Spirit, and the faith by which we live. They will give glory to God for having sent us and will receive His message with open hearts that are ready to be changed.

Now it is time to examine our own lives. What good works do we put forth that cause everyone around us to glorify God? What are we doing in our communities and in the world to shine on everyone within our reach? You see, this goes beyond standing on the stage and leading worship. That is a very important part of our lives, but only church goers see it. We are commanded to let our light shine, not to close it in behind the walls of the church.

Before The Throne:

Pray that God would open your eyes to the many opportunities in your community where you could do good works that would glorify Him. Ask Him to light your lamp, to make you that city that will guide the lost out of the dark wilderness of sin and into His glorious light. Be everything He intends you to be.

For Further Study:

(v.14)
** the light. Prov 4:18; John 5:35; John 12:36; Rom 2:19-20; 2Cor 6:14; Eph 5:8-14; Phil 2:15; 1Thess 5:5; Rev 1:20; Rev 2:1; ** a city. Gen 11:4-8; Rev 21:14-27;

(v.15) ** do. Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16; Luke 11:33; ** a bushel."A measure containing about a pint less than a peck." it giveth. Exod 25:37; Num 8:2;

(v.16) ** your light. Prov 4:18; Isa 58:8; Isa 60:1-3; Rom 13:11-14; Eph 5:8; Phil 2:15-16; 1Thess 2:12; 1Thess 5:6-8; 1Pet 2:9; 1John 1:5-7; that. Matt 6:1-5, 16; Matt 23:5; Acts 9:36; Eph 2:10; 1Tim 2:10; 1Tim 5:10, 25; 1Tim 6:18; Titus 2:7, 14; Titus 3:4, 7-8, 14; Heb 10:24; 1Pet 2:12; 1Pet 3:1, 16; ** and. Isa 61:3; John 15:8; 1Cor 14:25; 2Cor 9:13; Gal 1:24; 2Thess 1:10-12; 1Pet 2:12; 1Pet 4:11, 14; ** your Father. Matt 6:9; Matt 23:9; Luke 11:2;

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