What is the secret to getting your light to shine? We’ve been working our way through Matthew, chapter 5, the first part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. We looked at the Beatitudes, all the characteristics of those people who are blessed by God.
They’re blessed because He’s done something in them that has transformed and changed them, that makes them like the people that Jesus described in the Beatitudes. We can tell if we’re blessed or not blessed by looking at our lives, looking for the work that God has done in us.
In our last Little Lesson, we talked about Jesus’ words to His disciples about them being the salt of the earth and tried to figure out what He meant by that, and of course, He warned his disciples, “Be careful. You don’t want to lose your saltiness or else you’ll become useless, worthless,” you know, “good for nothing and be cast out.” That shows us something about the fact that we have a part to play in our behavior. We’re not holy robots.
As we keep working our way down through Matthew, chapter 5, we come to this verse, verse number 14. It’s another analogy that kind of makes the same point as the salt of the earth analogy, “You are the light of the world,” Jesus says to his disciples. Now, you might say to yourself, “Well, I thought Jesus was the light of the world.” Well, you’re right. He claimed to be the light of the world, I think it’s twice in the gospel of John, but now He’s telling his disciples that they are the light of the world. Maybe that’s kind of referencing the fact that, once again, when you’ve come to believe in Jesus, you’re blessed and one of the biggest blessing is that He comes to live on the inside of you. The light of the world, Jesus, comes to live on the inside of us, and now we become part of the light of the world, so that Jesus can say, “You are the light of the world.”
Now, what is He talking about there? Well, He’s talking about the fact that the world, as the scripture says, lays in darkness. They’re in ignorance and that’s why they’re slaves to sin. They’re captives to the devil to do his will. But those of us who have received Jesus, who have believed in Him, He comes to live inside of us. We see things totally different. Our eyes have been opened. We’ve seen the light, and now the light is in us, and now Jesus wants that light to be shining out of us. Let’s keep reading. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works.”
Here’s a connection between good works and the light that is shining through us out to the world. It’s symbolic, not just of knowledge and truth, but in this case, it’s also clearly symbolic of good works. We’re supposed to be letting people see our good works. It’s the fruit of the light within us and that’s the light coming out of us. Our new understanding, our submission to the will and to the word of God naturally produces fruit. That light that is in us becomes light that shines through us and other people are supposed to be seeing it.
However, once again, just like in the previous analogy of the salt losing its flavor, here Jesus warns about us snuffing out our light, putting it, as it were, under a bushel. It’s very clear that although God is the divine origin behind the light that is in us and that’s shining out of us, human free will still plays a part in all of this equation. We’re not just holy robots. We have something to do. But isn’t it nice to know that we don’t have to make effort to somehow get that light going out of us. No, we really are warned against making an effort to put a bushel over that light.
If you really have Jesus in you, you naturally produce the fruit of the Spirit. But again, another way of saying it, the flesh wars against the Spirit, that we may not do the things we want to do. There’s a part of our own will that comes into play here. But it’s not a case of … and this is so important. It’s not a case of, we have to muster holiness and righteousness. No, it’s more akin to we have to let the goodness and the righteousness and the fruit of the Spirit that is naturally in us, kind of wanting to bust out, we have to make sure we don’t hinder it. I like that a whole lot better than the old striving, you know, for holiness idea. It just puts it in a better perspective for me. It’s no longer I who live. Hallelujah! David’s dead, but Christ now lives in me. My job is to not hinder Him from getting out, okay?
Beautiful words here and there really is no secret, you know, no secret formula, no secret sauce, just a matter of being conscience of what Jesus said, “Let, allow, permit your light to shine before men in such a way that they may see yours.” He said, “That glorifies your Father.” That’s another indication again that the source of all of this goodness, the source of this fruit, the source of this light is God, because when we let our light shine He’s glorified. It’s not, we’re glorified, “Wow! You really mustered up some holiness there David. You really mustered up some good works there.” No, it’s that I just didn’t hinder God’s work in my life. I let Him out, okay? Feel good about. If you’ve believed in Jesus, He’s in you. The light’s in you. You, along with Jesus, are the light of the world. Let’s let Him out today. I love it. I absolutely love it. Alright, thank you so much for joining me on this Little Lesson. God bless you.