“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
The very first thing that God spoke into existence was light.
Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
The strange thing about all of this is that the sun, moon, and stars, were not created until day four. Genesis 1:14-19
So, what was the light God created on day one? Let’s what John wrote.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was LIFE, and the LIFE was the LIGHT of men.… the true LIGHT which gives LIGHT to every man coming into the world. (The emphasis is mine.) John 1:1-4, 9
So, in the beginning, God stood on heaven’s stage and announced the presence of Jesus, the Light and Life of every human being and every living thing.
Later in John 8:12, Jesus declared, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
This statement puzzled the disciples and angered the Pharisees. The Jews, at the time, called two notable rabbis, “the light of the world.” Here Jesus is transferring that title to a rough and tumble group of disciples. These men had limited Torah schooling. And surprising to us, He included us in this declaration.
To be called the salt of the earth is one thing but called the light of the world was something else. Salt is an internal quality. It purifies us, preserves us, and seasons us. The most notable manifestation of salt in a believer is in how we speak to others.
Light, on the other hand, is external. It is visible unless you choose to hide it. Light is seen up close and can be seen from far away. Our actions or lack of them can be seen by anyone around.
Philippians 2:14-16 puts it this way. “ Do all things without]complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as LIGHTS in the world, 16 holding fast the word of LIFE, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”
Isaiah wrote it this way, “Arise, shine; For your LIGHT has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. 2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. 3 The Gentiles shall come to YOUR LIGHT, And kings to the brightness of your rising.” Isaiah 60:1-3
Have you ever gone into the lava tubes of an inactive volcano? Or have you gone into a cave that goes deep into the ground? As a young girl, my family visited Mt. Shasta in California and went into the lava tubes.
It was so dark that you could not see your hand in front of your face when they were an inch apart. But, when the guide struck a match, we were able to see where we were and where to walk. In the struggle of darkness and light, light has the advantage every time.
We display light in how we live our lives. If we live following Holy Spirit, Who leads us by God’s word, we are manifesting light. As children of God, we are re-presenting Him wherever we go.
John wrote, “He who has the Son has LIFE; he who does not have the Son of God does not have LIFE.” 1 John 5:12 He is not only talking about physical life—which requires the presence of light to function, but spirit infused life, manifesting the life of Jesus, who lives in us.
If we live in the Light, our actions and our words honor God and draw others to us who want to know Him. We don’t have to be a spotlight that ignites the sky and is seen for miles in order to be effective. The tiniest light in the darkness makes an impact for good.
Peter declared, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous LIGHT; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
And Paul wrote to the Ephesians these words. “For you were once darkness, but now you are LIGHT in the Lord. Walk as children of LIGHT, (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11
Who are we presenting to this dark world? Do we just say we are Christians, go to church, sing on the worship team, etc.? Or do we do the things Jesus did? Do we act any different? Are we discipiling others? Do we talk any different? Do we partake in worldly activities? View the same movies? Go to the same places? Spend our time in the same way? Are we putting the ways of the Kingdom first or the ways of the world?
The world is looking for light and truth. We have both. Here is some closing counsel:
Paul cautioned the Corinthians in this passage, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” (yoked –ie. Don’t marry them. Don’t go into partnership with them in business. Don’t agree with them in the payment of a debt. ) For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has LIGHT with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14
Paul also wrote, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33
1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all sons of LIGHT and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
1 John 1:5-7 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Let us respond to the call that Paul declared in Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.
Walk as children of light.