The crowds began to expand. Word began to spread. A buzz of excitement filled the air. Jesus of Nazareth was more than a rabbi. He was special in ways that many couldn’t explain.
Some said he was the promised Messiah. He would deliver them from the Romans. A smaller band of disciples and devoted followers knew better.
Jesus is the promised Savior and Son of God, sent for the salvation of the world. He is the light shining in darkness. He will change the world!
So imagine their surprise when Jesus tells them, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He was teaching them during the Sermon on the Mount. And he went on to say that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. If you let your light shine, others will notice and they will glorify God.
Yes, Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12). Yes, Jesus is the only Savior. But he is not the only one who can change the world. He is not the only representative of the Father.
That is a team effort. And Jesus chooses you to be on his team. Jesus believes that you have what it takes to wear a jersey that says “Christian” and be an ambassador for his cause.
Jesus knows that others will notice you, and the light that shines from your faith when others aren’t trusting God, your joy when others complain, your peace when others worry about too many things, your kindness to those who can’t repay you, your commitment to his church that understands the people aren’t perfect and neither are you, your leadership when others aren’t stepping forward, your self control when others are living without concern for sin, your words of prayer when others don’t know what to do.
People notice. They really do. And they may not say anything to you, but your light that shines is putting the spotlight on the God who saves, who loves, and whose Son is their true light.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, let’s light up this world! It can seem so dark, so gloomy some times, and people can despair. Your light shines, Jesus! And it shines through me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read this small section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:14-16. Close your eyes and imagine nightfall, sitting on the back patio or front porch with a group of friends, everybody enjoying each other, and it’s getting dark. You turn on the light and there is a group “aaaah, I can see.” But their focus is not on the light. They don’t stare at it and say, “What an awesome light, that is amazing.” No, they enjoy more fully those who are in the light. In the same way, when you let the light of your faith shine, people aren’t going to notice you (the light) as they notice what you bring to light (Jesus, faith in him, an almighty and loving Father, peace, joy, etc.).