Who is the Light of the World? #180
Happy Thursday, everybody! Thank you to all of those who go to our website regularly, and especially to those who leave comments. Here’s a couple of recent ones:
Pastor Thompson, as always I enjoyed today’s podcast and shared it on my Facebook page. I also added the advisory that today’s podcast was for the more mature Christian as it is from Deuteronomy and contains curses from the LORD upon the young nation of Israel for disobedience….
I also enjoy the descriptive language of Brother Charles Spurgeon… I refer to all christians as brother or sister because in Christ we are family !!! Speaking the TRUTH into my life as the LORD reveals it to me…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7 CSB In Christ Jesus we never have to fear any curses of the Lord Because Christ Jesus bore ALL of the curses that we deserved on Himself on the Cross… John F. Finch III
Ask the average Christian who is the light of the world, and they will give the ultimate Sunday school answer: Jesus. And they’d be right…sort of.
you can dismiss your servant in peace,
as you promised.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation.
31 You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to your people Israel.
12 Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
46 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me would not remain in darkness.
Jesus is indeed the light of the world, but did you notice that Jesus answered our Bible question somewhat differently in Matthew 5?
14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are 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 in heaven.
Who is the light of the world? WE ARE – the people of Jesus! When Jesus was on earth, He was the light of the world…now His people – the Body of Christ – are the light of the world. What does this mean, exactly? We can start with Isaiah in the Old Testament – a passage we will focus on tomorrow:
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
to bring the poor and homeless into your house,
to clothe the naked when you see him,
and not to ignore your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will appear like the dawn,
and your recovery will come quickly.
Your righteousness will go before you,
and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.
Isaiah is showing us that we will shine like lights when we minister to the poor, needy, oppressed and least of these. We can get another hint about shining from one that Jesus Himself called a light – John the Baptist.
35 John was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.
How was John a burning and shining lamp? By his testimony and his message that pointed people towards Jesus. I think 2nd Peter 1:19 also gives us a bit of a hint as to how we are lights/lamps:
19 We also have the prophetic word strongly confirmed, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
2 Peter 1:19
John was a light because he proclaimed the coming of the messiah and repentance. Peter compares the Word of God to a lamp. Luke 11 takes us in a slightly different, but related direction:
33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light.34 Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness.35 Take care, then, that the light in you is not darkness.36 If, therefore, your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be entirely illuminated, as when a lamp shines its light on you.”
And finally, we get to Philippians 2:14
14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world,
Jesus is the first and ultimate light. John shined brightly by testifying about Jesus and preparing the way for His coming. Jesus teaches us that we will shine by our good works (Matthew 5) and by our holiness, which Paul also points us to in Philippians. Isaiah is in concord with this, specifically pointing out God’s promise that we will be lights when we love and serve the least of these. Finally, Peter indicates that the Word of God is also a light. Putting it all together, it would seem that we are the light of the world when we point to Jesus and proclaim His Word with good deeds, least of these care, and holiness – not complaining, but shining the light and love of Jesus. Who is the light of the world? YOU are. Where does the power for your light come from? Back to the Sunday School answer:
Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. 2nd Corinthians 4:7
God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27