“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 lampstand, 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, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 NASB
When the apostle John introduced Jesus in his gospel he said, “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.” (John 1:4). While speaking to Nicodemus Jesus said, “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19). Again Jesus said of Himself in John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
Jesus clearly said that the world is in darkness. They are in darkness because they have rejected the Light of life-Jesus. They are blindly walking towards their demise yet they are clueless of the destruction just before them. They are in darkness and therefore cannot see.
Jesus came to shine the Light of life into this dark world to save those who would turn away from the darkness and walk into the light. However, Jesus said in John12:35-36, “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”
Why did Jesus say that they would only have the light for a little while? Jesus time on earth was temporary. He came for a specific purpose, to redeem all mankind, and once that purpose was fulfilled through His death, burial, and resurrection He was lifted up to be at the right hand of the Father. Jesus has not forsaken us. Those who have believed on Him and have accepted Him as Lord and Savior now have, as Jesus said, the Light of life.” Jesus is still in this world. However, He has chosen to be in this world through His followers.
The moment we become a Christian God places His light, Jesus, into our lives. Just as in Jesus day the world is still in darkness. Our duty to God as Christians is to allow our light to shine in this darkness so people will be saved from the darkness and turn to the light-Jesus. Had Jesus not come into this world all mankind would stand eternally doomed, blindly walking in darkness to their eternal destruction. We are included in that number. If we as Christians choose not to let our light shine, today’s world will remain in that same darkness awaiting their eternal doom. I believe this is the highest form of greed.
We are to let our light shine so our Father will be glorified. He is glorified when people turn to Him and trust in Him for eternal salvation. If we choose to live a life of self-centeredness and self-gratification, we have placed our lamp under a basket. How foolish is that? We are the city set on a hill. We are the lamp God has chosen to use. Therefore, we need to place ourselves on a lamp stand for the world to see. Not for our glory. Not even to where people see us. We are to let our light shine so the world living in darkness will see Jesus, the light within you.