[Jesus said] “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Christians Can’t Hide
If you’re trying to hide from a hungry bear in a dark forest, shining a flashlight in every direction won’t be helpful. Your scent might still give you away, but your flashlight will also help him hone in on your whereabouts. Shining a light in dark places makes it difficult to hide. The light gives you away.
Jesus doesn’t want his people to hide in this world darkened by sin and death. He wants them to shine in every direction. But not to be showy or self-important. Not to jump into the spotlight and shout, “Look at me!” Instead, he says, be who you are through faith in me, “the light of the world.” If they let their light shine, people won’t be able to help but notice. Faithful Christians can’t hide. Their light will be too bright, even if they’re trying to go unnoticed.
And what exactly does Jesus mean when he tells Christians, “Let your light shine”? That”s simple. They are to reflect Jesus’ unconditional love, patience, self-control, and self-sacrifice for others. He is himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12), and his people exist to reflect his light. They are created and called to be noticeably different and distinct in a world shrouded by self-centered sinfulness and shamefulness.
And why is this so important? So that those who do not yet know Jesus might be directed to their Savior. You see, ultimately, it’s not about bringing attention to Christians. It’s about bringing attention to Christ. He is the only one who is able to save them from their sins and grant them the gift of eternal life so that they, too, might let their light shine.
Dear Jesus, through your Word and Spirit, empower to let my light shine and to bring praise to your heavenly Father forever. Amen.