The new you… the Light of the world
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
Jesus’ recorded words, to His disciples, often offer a number of stark contrasts to the ways and thinking of many people (including the religious-minded). None of these contrasts is more vivid than that of Light vs. darkness.
Before we talk about Light, it is important that we talk about darkness.
We tend to equate darkness with evil. People who do bad things to other people are darkness. Those who murder. Those who steal. Those who kidnap. Those who rape. Those who abuse children. All Darkness.
But not surprisingly, the Bible has a much different perspective. Evil is certainly seen as darkness. But so is lying and deceit. And so is confusion. And pride. So is fear and worry and anxiety. That is why we see Jesus talking about these things in His “sermon on the mount.”
Jesus’ message is that the Kingdom of God did not come just to address evil – it came to address everything that plagues us as human beings. If it is a malady for mankind – in God’s sight, it is darkness.
And God’s solution for darkness is… Light!
The other thing we need to understand is that darkness is not the equal to light. We often tend to see darkness as just as powerful as light (if not stronger than light!). We can get the feeling that there is this tremendous battle going on (between darkness and light) and most often, the darkness is just too strong.
But the Bible declares this is just not true.
When you walk into a dark room and flip on a light switch, what do you witness? A long drawn-out struggle for supremacy? Do you see wave upon wave of darkness pushing back at the light (or eventually overcoming it)? Of course not. You turn on the light and the darkness disappears. That is because darkness is the absence of light. And when light shows up, darkness can no longer exist in that place.
When Jesus is speaking about BEing the Light of the world, He is seeking to get us to understand the power at work in us – and the power working through us. Jesus was never the slightest bit concerned about what darkness could do, whenever He entered a situation of darkness. He came as Light (John 8:12; 9:5; 12:46). He came as the power of God – to bring immediate change to the darkness He encountered.
As Jesus was… so are we. As He was the Light of the world… so also are we. With the same capacity to encounter darkness and make it disappear.
When we finally get ahold of that fact, we can be a powerful force for God, in this world. Just as our Lord was before us…
Prayer focus: God, help me to see the power of being the Light of the world.