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How often do I act like God is a secret? Unfortunately, more than I want to admit.

I take credit when people compliment me for things He has done. I don’t tell others how has healed me. I don’t mention that I am a new being in Him. I don’t credit Him for the wonderful and amazing world He has given us. I don’t mention that God is a good mood. I don’t acknowledge that God is God.

Here are some common ways I act like God is a secret.

    • Being quiet when I should speak up.
    • Going along with the crowd.
    • Denying that Jesus is the light of the world.
    • Letting missing God’s goal for my life to dim my light.
    • Not explaining my light to others.
    • Ignoring the needs of others.

Jesus is direct. Don’t act like God is a secret.

May it be so as Jesus said. May I be a beacon of truth. May my light shine clearly and boldly.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 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. 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.

English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 5:14–16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

Jesus’ disciples are not only “the salt of the earth” but also “the light of the world.” The light metaphor continues the salt metaphor and takes it one step further to illustrate Jesus’ point.

  • “Light” is an important theme in Scripture, normally emphasizing the removal of darkness in the unfolding of biblical history and theology.
  • The literal contrast between physical light and darkness provokes a profound metaphorical contrast between metaphysical good and evil, God and evil forces, believers and unbelievers.
  • Jesus later declares that he is “the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5), who has come as the light that enlightens all people (1:4–14), so that those believing in him will no longer be in darkness.

In the same way as Jesus’ life and message of salvation bring light to those in darkness, his disciples are a living demonstration of the arrival of the kingdom of heaven. The light of revelation from God that accompanies Jesus’ announcement of the kingdom is not just carried by his disciples; they are that light.

Jesus continues the proverbial “impossible” language he used in the salt metaphor by stating that “a city on a hill cannot be hidden,” and “neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.” The city to which Jesus refers may be Jerusalem, which sits on Mount Zion, since Israel with Jerusalem as the holy city was considered light to the world. But since Jesus is now in Galilee near Capernaum, he may be using a local city as his illustration, because he often used images from his surroundings to illustrate his teaching. In either case, it is impossible to hide a city located on a hill.

The good news: We are the light. Jesus has made us this way. Jesus has given us the power of the Holy Spirit so we can shine His light on the world.

The challenge: Be the light and do not try to hide the light.