You are not for this world, but you’re in this world. Be careful to live as if you’re out of this world.
It has been statistically proven that the longer the people live as Christians, the lesser non-believing friends they have. Eventually, they become so self-absorbed with fellow believers and struggle to relate with nonbelievers.
After Jesus illustrated His disciples as the “salt of the earth,” He shifted to another household object to symbolize His followers as a whole–as “the light of the world.”
Three applications matter.
1. Lighten Up the World.
Long before the Dark Ages, Jesus said to His early disciples in ways His listeners could fully understand.
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”
This is not the “light” that we usually know (Bulb, Fluorescent, tragic, LED, etc.). Jesus was referring The light produced by a small clay “lamp” with a wick made from a tightly rolled piece of cloth.
Christ-followers are considered as the light for the world to see, with Jesus as the Light source. When all household lights are on, it lightens up the house, whole village or town.
A light is so easy to spot. In fact, during the WWII, London has to turn off their household lights to avoid German bombing. It’s because, in the darkest night, a flicker of light is still visible thousands of feet above.
Indeed, a city on the hill cannot be hidden if the lights are up. Every time I take night trips from or to Baguio City, I’m always reminded of the city on the hill that can’t be hidden.
When was the last time you took a night flight and you’ve seen a city’s beauty?
That’s how Christian life should be.
2. Level Up.
Christians are also seen as the recipient of spiritual illumination and must share it to fellow people. As such, it is not good to hide the spiritual truth on others. It defeats the basic purpose of a light in a darkened room.
Jesus said, “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.”
It’s common sense. People put the lamp on top of the bushel, not inside of it where the light won’t be seen and the fire will soon be snuffed out. No oxygen, no fire.
The best place for the lamp to lighten up the house is on top of the bushel where the light can spread freely. Christ-followers are pictured here as setting the house in a lightened environment.
Inside the house, a light is simply meant to let people see each other and where the light is, the family sticks together. Family and guests don’t lurk in the dark. They keep warm and get closer to where the light is.
Warning: A light on fire must be settled and used properly or else it will set the house on fire. It could lead to a loss of family property. Its spiritual implications could be really or totally destructive.
3. Let the Light Shining.
“In the same way,” Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The major purposes for Jesus followers as light is to let their good deeds be evident and not show off.
As a result, the ultimate purpose is achieved, which is to give glory to God. As the Apostle Paul puts it, “Whatever you do, in words or deeds, do it all for the glory of God.”
This truth applies to the principle that the lamp is used for a season and time. It didn’t also say, the light is to be used in broad daylight.
In fact, both the salt and light have something in common. The salt can be a light also.
I’m reminded of the lighting system invented by Aisa Mijeno. She is a Filipino inventor who used salt and water to produce light, instead of kerosene. But in ancient times, the most important part of the lamp to keep it burning and produce light is the olive oil.
The wick can be snuffed out by the wind blows or when out of oil. As much as we need the power of electricity to set our lights on, ancient people need the olive oil to keep their lamps lighted.
During pilgrimages in Jesus’ time, people used light through bonfires to keep the night safe, warm them from cold, and discourage predators to attack.
But it tells something more for travelers. Where there is fire, there is light; and where there is light, there are people.
How would you feel if you walk in darkness without a light?
What if your life is the only light they could see in this darkened world?
Keep the light burning and honor God with your whole lives.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017