January 12, 2022 – Wednesday
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Ever go outside at night during a full moon on a clear night? If you did, you saw the moon shining brightly giving off enough light to do many tasks in the moon light. However, none of the light from the moon is literally from the moon. It is instead light from our sun reflected off the surface of the moon when it is completely out of earth’s shadow. Even when in earth’s shadow, whether it be a half moon, just a sliver, or any portion, the light we see is actually sunlight reflected by the moon. Keep this in mind as we discuss the three verses above.
The first thing to be aware of for our verses for the today are that Jesus is speaking and this is a small part of His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). While His audience is wide ranging from Pharisees who hate Him to people there simply for the show, but there are also His disciples, His followers, His believers who are listening and it is to them that He is speaking to directly. That would include you and I, as His words speak to His believers – us – through the centuries.
In verse 14, He says, You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Now we know from John 1:9 that Jesus is the source of light and gives light to everyone, The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world and John 8:12, Jesus in His own words said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. He means that His light will shine through us as the moon reflects the light of the sun and we in our faith walk are to be a light to the world. Further, we are not to hide the light He has given us, but to let it shine as if we (His church) were a town built on a hill. His word and His light is not to be hidden. Of note is that the word for light in this verse is the Greek5457 phos where our words photon and photograph originate.
Then in verse 15, Jesus says, Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Jesus is not lighting you up with His light just so you can put it under a bowl and hide out. No you are to let it be seen and give light to everyone in your life. Here Jesus uses two different words for light. The first is G2545 kaio, meaning to literally set on fire as you would a wick in an oil lamp. When I was young and we would visit my grandparents, they would do the same thing with kerosene lamps. Sometimes we were given the honor of lighting them with a match or turning them off by capping them – cutting off their oxygen supply. Such lamps were always placed to give the maximum light to the room it was in. And for the light it gives off Jesus uses another word for light, G2989 lampo which means to radiate brilliantly – to give light, shine. Jesus is clear here, He has given us light for a purpose, so we may shine with His light in our lives wherever we are, whatever we are doing.
He states exactly that in verse 16, In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Plus, there is a bit of a warning there, we are not to do this to glorify ourselves in any way. The entire purpose is to glorify your Father in heaven. Our church has a food ministry, and we could crow about how much we do and how great we are through our food ministry. Or we could be thankful and humble in that God sees fit to use us to accomplish His desires through our efforts. He gets the credit, not us. We should be honored that He would use us to do His bidding. It is His light that through us goes out into the world. Also, in this verse Jesus again uses the Greek phos for light.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, However you choose to use us to share Your Word about Your Son, we are honored that You would use such as us to do so. It is a blessing to know You as our Father and Your Son as our Lord and Savior. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton