“Light of the World” (Matthew 5:14-16)

Submitted by admin on Sat, 2007-10-27 19:51.

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Disciples of Christ are to serve as the “light of the world,” revealing to observers the splendor of godly conduct in attitude, word, and deed. In a world darkened by moral corruption, lack of love, and ignorance of God’s lofty standard of justice, Christ’s disciples should stand out as different, like a brilliant light surrounded by darkness. A city situated on a hill is not concealed from view. (Matthew 5:14)

Ancient lamps were often made of earthenware and served as a container for a flammable liquid, commonly olive oil. Enclosed lamps were equipped with a spout for holding the wick and a centrally situated hole for filling the vessel with oil. No one would think of hiding a lighted lamp under a container, as that would be contrary to its purpose to provide light for those in the house. The vessel was placed on a lampstand. (Matthew 5:15)

Like a city on an elevated site and a shining lamp on a stand, Christ’s followers were to let their light shine. Others should be able to see their praiseworthy works—their exemplary conduct and their doing of positive good for fellow humans. Because of imitating God’s love, compassion, and justice, Christ’s disciples would reveal themselves to be children of the Most High and would thus honor him. As a result, observers who would come to recognize the reason for their commendable disposition, words, and actions would glorify or praise the heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:16)


Among other parables, Jesus included the point about not hiding a lighted lamp. (Mark 4:1, 2, 21-23; Luke 8:4, 16-18)