Read Matthew 5:14-16. What is Jesus saying here to each of us individually and as a church community?
Throughout the Bible, light is intimately associated with God.
The Lord is my light, sang David (Ps. 27:1), and John stated that
God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5, NKJV). God is the source of light. In fact, the first thing He created was light, because light is indispensable for life.
Given the close connection between light and God, Scripture frequently uses light to symbolize truth, knowledge, and godliness. To walk in light means to have a character like God’s (Eph. 5:8, 1 John 1:7). Light stands for God, darkness for Satan. That’s why it is a grievous sin to
put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isa. 5:20).
Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is
the light of men, . . . the true Light which gives light to every man (John 1:4, 9, NKJV). He alone is the light that can illuminate the darkness of a world enshrouded in sin. Through Him we may have the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God (2 Cor. 4:6), that is, His character.
When we accept Christ as our Savior, we become
sons of light (John 12:36, 1 Thess. 5:5, NKJV). But we have no light in ourselves. Like the moon, all we can do is reflect the light that shines upon us. When we let Jesus shine through us, we will not do good works to parade our own virtue but to lead people to glorify God.
If Christ is dwelling in the heart, it is impossible to conceal the light of His presence. If those who profess to be followers of Christ . . . have no light to give, it is because they have no connection with the Source of light. — Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 41.
Wouldn’t it be absurd to light a lamp only to put it
under a basket or under a bed (Mark 4:21, NKJV)? Then why is it that sometimes we do so with Christ’s light? A concealed disciple is no more useful than a lamp under a bowl on a dark night. Therefore,
arise, shine; for your light has come! and the glory of the Lord is risen upon you (Isa. 60:1, NKJV).
Light itself is actually invisible. It has to be reflected off of something; otherwise we cannot see it. What spiritual lesson can we draw from this about how, as believers, our light is to be revealed?