What a difference a little light makes!
Now, we look at the New Testament and what it says about the importance of “light,” and, in particular, how having this “light” should affect the world around us-regardless of how dark that world is when we first arrive in it.
The first time “light” is mentioned in the New Testament, it is referring to the fulfilled prophecy of Isaiah (9:1-2), regarding where the Messiah would live, and His effect on those around Him:
“The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up” (Matthew 4:16).
It is most interesting to note that Matthew’s first recorded words of Jesus, regarding light, are not that Jesus is the light of the world, but that WE are!
“Ye are the light of the world … Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).
Yes, according to Jesus, we are the light of the world! This should both encourage and remind us that Christian light comes from us, and our light comes from Him! Even as we reflect His light to those around us, His light is reflected to the world. Jesus spoke so often of being “I AM,” but this was the one time that the words of Jesus turned toward us,
telling us that YOU ARE … the light of the world.
When we have this light within us, those around us-both believer and non-believer alike-will recognize the fact that we have this light:
“No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light”
This Word is so important that Jesus included the example in His Sermon on the Mount (from Matthew, above), here in Luke’s recording of “The Parable of the Candle,” and Jesus would repeat these exact same words in Luke 11:33. So, the question is, when I enter a place, whether it’s a room or a building, do “those who enter in” see this light?
John wrote this about Jesus:
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men … That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (John 1:4, 9).
When John the Baptist appeared on the scene, he “came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:7-8).
It must also be said that, yes, while others will be able to tell that you have this light … this doesn’t mean that everyone will be glad about it. In fact, Scripture says that yes, you will be hated for the very reason that you do have this light:
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved”
This fully explains why, sometimes, just your
presence in a room changes the atmosphere of that room.
Let us never forget that it is Jesus’ light which shines from us … not our own:
“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not
walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Ever seen someone who just seems to wander aimlessly through life, not knowing where they are going? Jesus explains this: “for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth” (John 12:35).
Well, guess what? For someone like that, we are called to help them: “that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness” (Romans 2:19).
Aren’t you glad that you know Jesus? “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46).
Paul would testify that it was the “spreading” of this light which was his call to ministry:
“For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have
set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for
salvation unto the ends of the earth … To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light …” (Acts 13:47; 26:18).
And, in 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Peter would also write of the calling:
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9) … whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place …”
(2 Peter 1:19).
When Paul wrote of “the armor” of God in Ephesians, chapter 6, he didn’t include this:
“let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light” (Romans 13:12).
Paul reminds us “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light”
Let us not forget how dark the world was, when Paul wrote these words …
To the Ephesians: “… Christ shall give thee light”
To the Philippians: “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15) …
To the Colossians: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”
To the Thessalonians: “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness”
(1 Thessalonians 5:5) …
I think how overlooked the significance of being a “light” is, yet, the importance of it is all around us, in our daily speech. For instance, when someone is considered to be “not very smart,” we say they are “not very bright.” How about someone who is considered to be intelligent? We say they are really “bright.” A great idea is a “bright” idea.
Isn’t it amazing how important this “light” is?
Just as amazing is this:
The exact same light which lights us, which lights our world, which shines in the darkness around us … that exact same light will be the only source of light in Heaven … for all eternity … the same light you have right now!
“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof… And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it …And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 21:23, 24; 22:5)
Over at our Christian store, we have this wonderful work of art, which captures this expression of being “the light” to a dark world. Here’s a picture and link for you:
Hope you enjoyed the series!
Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.