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God is light

We are to be a light. We should bring out God’s colors into the world. God is not a secret to be kept from those we meet. We should go public.

I have seen cities on a hill. There is no mistaking them. They are not hidden. My ability to reveal Him should be the same way. In my house, I don’t light a light and then cover it up. What would be the point?

I should always have an open house. I should be generous with my relationship with our Father. I should be open to others about what God has done for me. If I open up with them, I will prompt them to open up with God, my generous Father in heaven.

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. [1]

Matthew 5:16

The light of the sun is visible to all throughout the world. A city situated on a mountaintop is visible to all in the vicinity. And the light of a lamp placed on a lampstand is visible to all in the house. Despite the threat and actuality of persecution, Jesus says, you must behave as a disciple out in the open, where your discipleship is visible.

No hiding it to save your neck. Your discipleship consists in doing good deeds as defined by Jesus’ teachings. Given the emphasis on mercy and neighborly “good deeds” means especially works of charity. So the doing of good deeds is to back up the proclaiming of good news.

“And glorify your Father in heaven” requires that the motive for the doing of such deeds be not for your own glory but for the glory of God the heavenly Father, whose “sons” are “the peacemakers”.

  • But how do nondisciples who see your good deeds glorify him?
  • By becoming disciples themselves as a result of the good deeds that back up the proclamation of good news.
  • There comes about, then, a chain reaction of disciples’ making disciples who make even further disciples, and so on.
  • “Of the world,” “on a mountaintop,” “to all those in the house,” and “in this way” point forward to Jesus’ telling the disciples to go disciple “all nations”.[2]

Why should we let our light shine? Jesus challenges us to do good and love everyone we meet. That leads us to good works. That is what others will see. It is not as much what we say but what we do.

Good news: Jesus shows us the way. It is all about bringing glory to God and not living for our selfish nature.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Mt 5:16). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[2] Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (p. 17). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.

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