“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14 (NIV)
And now, during Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, He saw a form of darkness that found a fitting comparison with the void and formless, deep darkness that He saw at creation. On a mission of re-creation and re-birth, He sat down on the mount to teach. He was surrounded by His disciples, and the great crowds which followed Him “from Galilee and the Decapolis, and from Jerusalem and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan”- Matthew 4:25. It was against this background and to this multitudinous audience on the mount that He declared a new kind of “Let there be light”- words He uttered during His earlier miracle at creation.
In that poignant statement, Christ declared what He had known from the foundation of the world – namely, that man was created to make a difference in his world. He knows that we were created far above and beyond the best that we have accomplished so far. He longs to unleash the power that is inherent in every soul united in Him, and which is what the world needs to be able to see the God that we serve. And so, He lets us in on a secret that many of us still do not realize: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” By our confession of faith in Christ and a decision to live for Him, we need to embrace “You are the light of the world as our identity and also our divine mandate.
Christ continued His charge on the mount with how the light was to be disseminated. In His days, lamps were a common source of light. Their rightful place was on stands of different types—tables, sides of walls, suspensions from ceilings, anywhere up so that its rays would be spread to every corner of the room. Light was never meant to be placed on the floor and it wasn’t done. Not in Jesus’ time, not in our own days. Hence, Christ reminded His audience of the common sense approach to handling light: “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.” – Matthew 5:15.
Having reminded of what is commonly done, He then followed up with the charge: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven Matthew 5:16. And this is the part that every Christian has to take very seriously.
Source: SALM’s article in the Spectator newspaper.