Jesus makes two statements declaring the identity of His people. He declares His disciples as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Jesus wants us to live salty and bright. In thinking about our identity as disciples we must strive to understand how we are to fulfill these roles. Surely, these roles are important considering how vital salt and light are to our lives. Our body needs salt to function properly. As a society we must have light to function in any form. Jesus wants His people to be just as crucial as salt and light are to the world.
How are we going to be as crucial and important to the world as salt and light? In Live Salty and Bright (Pt. 1): Living as the Salt of the Earth we determined that as salt makes everything better, so we are to make the world a better place. This is what makes us as valuable as salt and light. As we look at how we can live bright we will understand how Jesus wants us to make the world a better place.
13 “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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 5:13-16 (ESV)
Living Bright: The Opposite of Hidden
It is important to make sure we understand what Jesus is telling us. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus compares us to a city set on a hill; His point is that His disciples are not easily hidden. We are actually to be the opposite of Hidden. Cities were often built on hills for strategic reasons and a glow could be seen on the horizon because of the many lights burning within them. It was impossible for the city to hide. So, it should be impossible for us to hide if we are to fulfill our purpose.
Likewise, Jesus spoke to the purpose of lighting a lamp. The purpose is not to hide it, so that no one can be seen, but rather it is to make everyone visible. The lamps most commonly used during this time were small enough to be held in your hand. They would likely be extinguished if they were covered. But an extinguished light is of no value, it fails to serve it’s purpose. For the lamp to be purposeful, it would be put on stand. This would light the entire room.
Living Bright: Showing God to the World
Likewise, when we do good, and attempt to change the world, we are shining bright for God. Just as the lights Jesus compares us to make a city visible or everyone in the house visible, when we shine bright, we make God visible. This is the purpose of letting our lights shine, so that when people see us do good, they will glorify our heavenly Father. Living Bright means we are a spotlight on God, helping a dark world see a wonderful, loving Father. It is difficult not to seek honor and praise for our good works, but this defeats the purpose of our light. We shine so the world can see God.
Christ the Source of our Light
Maybe this is a little easier when we remember who the true light of the world is.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8:12 (ESV)
Have you ever seen someone light a candle using a candle that has already been lit? One candle serves as the source of light for the other candles. This is the same way it is for us, Jesus is the source of our light, He is the reason we can shine and this is why we must shine, to give God glory. This is why Christians are so important to the world, we show the world who God is, through our good works!
How are we suppose to let our light shine?
What are some ways we can do good?
Why is it difficult to give God the glory?