You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see and give glory to your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
Jesus was relentless. Immediately after telling His disciples to be the “salt of the earth,” He says they must also be the “light of the world.”
What Jesus was saying to them—and to all disciples ever since—is that we need to be His light so that the world doesn’t plunge into darkness.
Jesus implores us to put our light on a “lampstand.” He doesn’t want us to be like a little night-light that gives comfort to our children when they wake up. He wants us to be noticed and shine brightly. It’s hard to shine for Jesus if we’re going “under the radar” with our faith.
When we shine for Jesus, we’ll be casting light into dark areas, areas some people may not want to be illuminated. For those who’re invested in darkness, this shining for Jesus might provoke them to turn on us. For anyone who is vilified or condemned by bringing the light into the darkness, Jesus says, “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”
If we’re ever worried about losing our saltiness or our light, what can we do? I encourage us to go straight to the Salt, straight to the Light. Jesus is both Salt and Light. He came to flavor and preserve. He came to illuminate. Losing flavor? Ask Jesus to throw the salt of His grace into our life. Losing light? Ask Jesus to shine the light of His love upon us.
Our being salt and light isn’t self-generated. Our being salt and light is a gift Jesus wants us to receive, have, and share. Without our being salty, things will rot. Without our being light, things will descend into darkness.
- When and how has Jesus brought His light into your life? With His light, what did you see? With His light, did you go anywhere or do anything?
- Where might Jesus be calling you to take His light? Where are the dark places around you that need His light?
- Are you more inclined to put the light Jesus has given to you on a lampstand or under wraps? If the latter, what would help you to shine the light of His love and grace with more joy, courage, and freedom?