Jesus tells us, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). His statement here is about much more than just doing ministry. It extends beyond teaching, preaching or passing out tracts. Christ tells us very plainly, “Ye are the light.” He’s saying, “You are not just a reflection of the light. You’re not a mere conduit. You are the light itself. And the intensity of your light depends upon the intensity of your walk with me.”
Do you see what the Lord is implying here? The world recognizes those who walk closely with him. Your neighbors or coworkers may not know about your daily communion with Christ, your faith in him, your utter dependence upon him. But they do see the light that shines from your because of the life you have with him. And as long as nothing hinders that life, your light will continue to shine in the darkness.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” (Matthew 5:14). Jesus is saying, “I have put you on exhibition to the world. People are looking at you, because I’ve made you a spectacle. You’re a light that is not meant to be hidden.”
So, who are these lights set on a hill? And where do we see them? They are not usually found in the limelight. They aren’t among the self-centered, self-promoting people who live for recognition in this world. And they are not among those self-important church cliques who pretend to be holy but gossip, murmur and complain.
Through the years, I’ve seen many believers who appear godly but in truth are spiritually lazy. They tell others about their failings and weaknesses, thinking this makes them humble. Yet they are quick to judge others. They don’t possess the true, giving, loving servant-like spirit of Christ. On the contrary, the “light” they have is actually darkness. Jesus says, “If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23). Where there is no life of Christ, there can be no light for others.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (5:16). The reason that we are to let our light shine forth to the world is that God may receive glory.