Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
The name of this blog (Reflecting the SON) was inspired by today’s verse. In context, this verse is part of Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is believed to be early in Jesus’ 3 year ministry leading up to his crucifixion and was preparing the people of the day for what it takes to be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven.
To better understand what he is teaching, let’s break this verse down into chunks.
1. Let Your Light So Shine: What is the Light that Jesus is referring to?
John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Jesus claims that he is THE Light of the world! While we do not have time in this post to explore the depths of this topic, suffice it to say that ‘darkness’ in the Bible refers to sin, evil and wickedness. So Jesus is both the extreme opposite of Darkness and the the remedy for the darkness of evil in this world. But the light that is mentioned in Matt 5:16 is not Jesus specific, but rather it is “Your” Light. So are we in competition to Jesus and his light? Of course not. Remember, we are incapable of the kind of purity and perfection that this concept demands. Instead, we should live our lives in such a manner that we should REFLECT the light that is Jesus.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
That means we MUST make every change possible to be as much like Jesus as possible. When we sin we are in darkness. When we follow the teachings of Jesus and obey his will, we let his light shine in our lives!
2. Before Men: There is a widespread misunderstanding of God that I hear quite a bit. “I have my own deal worked out with God.” In other words, people want to be a closet christians. Sure they claim to love Jesus. Yes they want all of the benefits that he has to offer ….BUT! There’s always a but. The “but” is they want to do what they want to do and they do not want to follow any strict, conforming rules. They want the best of both worlds. Jesus claims here that christianity is a 24/7 proposition! Every moment of our lives should be spent demonstrating our loyalty to him. People should see the difference in us. People should notice the change in us. Notice the two verses preceding.
Matt. 5:14-15 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
I love Jesus’ use of metaphors. Light has a purpose! It is to be seen in and from the darkness, like a city on a hill. Why would we light a candle only to cover that light by putting a basket over it? It defeats the purpose! If a light is only going to be covered…Don’t bother lighting it! That means that when we become followers of Jesus we have a purpose! Our purpose is to reflect the light of Jesus and to be a beacon showing the way to Jesus to those that are lost in the dark!
3. That They See Your Good Works: We clearly live in the Kardasian era! An era where you can become famous and rich for nothing. Where your every outfit is put on display for the world to see and celebrate. A world where there are people that are famous on Instagram or YouTube for doing stupid stunts, playing video games or for what you wear. We live in a society that the most notable citizens are ones that play games for a living.
As a Christian, what should people see in us? What should they notice about us? Jesus tells us! When becoming a christian, we are to change to act, behave, react, judge, think, and feel like Jesus did. The word christian literally means to be “Christ Like”. We should be as much like Jesus as humanly possible. But Jesus did not go around just giving speeches. He was a doer. He healed the sick. He washed peoples feet. He fed the hungry. He raised the dead, and the list could go on. Jesus was known as much for what he did good for others as for what he said! Is that true about us? Are we doers? Do we go about doing good works? Are we known for our kindness, generosity and compassion? If we are going to let our light shine, the world MUST see us through our manifestation of Jesus’ characteristics!
4. Glorify Your Father in Heaven: Here is one of the most underestimated concepts in all of the Bible. We live in a society that is all about “ME”. In many ways, we make every decision of our lives through the filter of how does this effect me. If we are faithful to God, we need to make a paradigm shift. We need to begin asking: Does this thought, action, behavior, lifestyle, choice, reaction, etc., GLORIFY God? Does it make him look good? Or does it bring reproach upon him?
When one becomes a christian, part of the process is to Confess Jesus (Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9; Romans 10:10). To think this is a one time act is a failure to understand God’s will. Instead, we should demonstrate, through our actions, our loyalty to Jesus on a daily basis. We must let our light SHINE so that the world can see Jesus!
Reflecting the SON!