Summary: Let your light shine in the world
Last week in Matthew 5:13, Jesus said that you are the salt of the earth. Jesus wanted us to see the relationship that the members of the body of Christ are to have with the world.
In today’s passage, we find Jesus teaching concerning the citizens of the kingdom as to their PRIMARY FUNCTION in the world!
READ MATTHEW 5:14-16
I. THE NATURE OF LIGHT.
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. “Why,” he exclaimed, “when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things, I always went in the dark.” “Yes,” the hired man said wryly,” and look at what you got!” Some people change their ways when they see the light, others only when they feel the heat.
A. Light removes darkness. Reveals danger. Shows path. These things are expected on Christian influence in the world. SHOWS BLEMISHES. CAR FOR MISTY.
B. When you look at something in the dark, it does not look so bad.
C. Jesus is the real light of the world. John. 1:9
1. In John. 8:12 Jesus says, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life."
D. We are reflected light. Sun is the source of light and the moon reflects light from the sun to the earth. Jesus is our source of light and we are to reflect that light to others.
1. Our lives are to reflect the mind and will of God!
2. 1 PETER 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
3. EPHESIANS 5:8-9 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth,
1. The light will expose that which is not truth!
E. This is why Jesus tells us to follow Him, and why we are told to be holy, and why we are told to do His will and obey His commandments we are the Jesus that people will see. They will base their thoughts about Jesus by the way that we conduct ourselves, or what kind of light we reflect.
1. John. 14:15. If you love me, keep my commandments.
2. If we understand that we are reflected light, then it helps us to see why we need to conduct ourselves as Christ’s followers.
F. Also the further that we get away from the source of light, the dimmer our reflection will be. Understanding that we are reflected light should help us to understand why we need to diligently work to stay near to Jesus.
1. Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
II. THE POSITION OF LIGHT VERSE 15
A. A city on a hill, a lamp in a lampstand. The Christian is not to be ashamed of their confession. ( Talk about being sheepish).
B. It is the duty of the church to stand out, not for prominence sake but for the spreading of the gospel, for light into a dark world.
C. Jesus proceeded here to show his hearers why they were given the opportunity to hear and participate of the Gospel.
1. It was not because of their place of birth, or because of the way that they looked!
2. God was blessing them with the gospel so that they could be a blessing to others.
a. The story is told of a lighthouse keeper who worked on a rocky stretch of coastline and who received his new supply of oil once a month to keep the light burning. Not being far from shore, he had frequent guests. One night a woman from the village begged some oil to keep her family warm. Another time a father asked for some to use in his lamp. Another needed some to lubricate a wheel. Since all the requests seemed legitimate, the lighthouse keeper tried to please everyone and granted them all.
Toward the end of the month he noticed that the supply of oil was very low. Soon, it was gone, and the beacon light went out. That night several ships were wrecked and lives were lost.
When the authorities investigated, the man was very repentant. To his excuses and pleading their reply was: "You were given the oil for one purpose -- to keep that light burning!"