Dear teens and twenties (thirties, forties, fifties… or even nineties too!),
You are the Light of this World…this was one of the loftiest titles that Jesus gave to his disciples. And to whom did he say that? … a group of people that had left their lucrative professions (fishing, farming, tax collection etc.) to follow him.
In other words, Jesus’s first list of disciples did not consist only of people who were poor, starving, suffering but those who also were financially well off. Jesus is just not the God of poor, he is the God of rich too!
Jesus did not discriminate between poor and a rich. For him all are equal!
He wants all – be it poor or rich – to follow him, follow his ways so as to achieve the best in both the worlds -world present and the world to come….!
Jesus wants us to shed light to this world. We all know what a light is? A light is something which removes darkness. A candle, a torch, a tungsten bulb, halogen lamp are some of the light emitting sources that we come across easily.
Like today, even in the days of Jesus light played a key role in the people’s life. People then did not enjoy the privilege of electricity that we have today. Sunlight was the only major source of light to them. In the absence of all the modern electrical fittings, dusk meant darkness to them! They will have to shut and remain at homes as no work will be possible during nights….and Thomas Alva Edison, the inventor of first Electric bulb was to be born only many centuries later!
It was in this background that Jesus used the allegory of light to explain the role that his disciples were expected to play in the world. Possessing a light for ourselves or in other words knowing the Living Light Jesus is one experience, but being a light or shedding the living light to someone is totally another experience.
This article is aimed to stir our thinking, align our thoughts,
and mend our minds to actually live out the statement of Jesus… You are the light of the world…
In the first place, Jesus associates Light with Good works. Without displaying good works, we cannot be considered as children of light (vs.16). Jesus’ point of view with regard to light was very plain. We should be as light so that others (1) will see our good works (2) and glorify God.
To understand the perspective, we should base our premise on the natural phenomenon of Light so as to tie it up with its greater spiritual significance. Some of the quintessential characteristics of Light are…
1) Light Eradicates
The primary and principle function of light is remove darkness. Where there is light there cannot be darkness. Light and darkness can never co-exist. We can be the light that delivers people from darkness.
“to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
and to guide us to the path of peace.” – Luke 1:79″
As children of light, we can deliver people from devil’s bondage. Every day, millions and millions are dying trapped in deadly addictions, diabolic witch-craft activities, distressing promiscuity. Their pursuit of peace in the form of pleasure is leading them, slowly but surely towards the gates of hell-fire! As the possessors of living light, how are we helping them? Do we reach out to them, do we express words of counsel or at-least guide them to meet higher-ups, experts, spiritual leaders.
Light also helps in prevention of sins. In the natural sense, many nefarious activities troubling the law-enforcers are taking place only in the dark hide-outs of the city, pushing the policemen to ensure illumination of almost all nooks and corners of the city so as to dissuade criminals from striking in the dark. Similarly, the light of Jesus that we illuminate in the life of people can prevent them from sinning, protect them from bad habits, preserve them from the damnation.
2) Light Expedites
We all know that according to science, light travels faster than sound. There is also an old saying which says actions speaker louder than words. Don’t we see an imminent connection between these two? The bible says, whoever possessing a light or a candle cannot hide it under a bushel. Taking this thought forward, may we say, whoever possessing a light or candle cannot delay in taking the light….By nature, the light travels faster and our actions should precede our preachings, otherwise we will just be empty vessels that only makes noise…
You know light can travel speeder than anything… light travels faster than sound.
(The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second), and in theory nothing can travel faster than light. In miles per hour, light speed is, well, a lot: about 670,616,629 mph. If you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second.) God expects to be work faster than anything. Yes, God never wants to use a lazy person.
Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. – Roman 12:11
Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king. – Esther 8:10
17 They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon. – Neh 4:17
they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed; they were relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin): – 1 Chronicles 12:2
3) Light Escorts
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105 (New Living Translation (©2007))
Light is used to signal. What is a lighthouse?
It is a tower with a bright light at the top, located at an important or dangerous place regarding navigation (travel over water). The two main purposes of a lighthouse are to serve as a navigational aid and to warn boats of dangerous areas. It is like a traffic sign on the sea.
The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. – Psalm 119:130
Speak the word of God from the bible treasure chest. As the Psalm-writer says, we should speak his truth in the morning and share his grace in the evenings. What does it actually mean? It means we should be always prepared to share the message of gospel, in season and out of season. Yet, we should know what to speak when? Rather than gossiping or coming around to talk about things that can leave the other person hurt or intimidated, we can speak about Jesus, his Gospel of Salvation. That has the potential to build people , mend broken hearts, instill hope and in short ‘usher’ in a radiance of hope in those lives. Only the words of Jesus can help!!
4) Light Endorses
to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. – John 1:7
‘Actions speak louder than words’ says a proverb. It just not our preaching, our life should endorse the truth that we proclaim. A Christian life is in living, not in preaching. The believers and the beholders should see the life of Christ embedded in your life, in your testimony. Your personal testimony, the way we live, is very important. Your lifestyle, your behaviour, your attitude must be controlled and directed by the Biblical principles and reflect the life and light of Christ. We can see the world only with our two eyes, but we must be mindful of the fact that multitudes of eyes are watching, every step, every action of ours. Every other action, every other gesture of ours must facilitate others to follow us and follow the foot-steps of our Lord.
5) Light Evolves
Isaiah 8:20 – To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them.
Light helps in vegetation. Plants will die if they always remain in dark. They need sunlight to sprout, to grow, to bring flowers, to bring fruit. Similarly, the prayers that we do, the counsel that we provide, the words of encouragement that we utter can touch the lives of others like the ray of sunlight on a sagging plant. That touch can bring them closer to Christ, the real life giver. You just sow the seeds, when it is season, one day that will bring forth returns, one thirty, one sixty and one hundred fold.
In closing, let me take a leaf out of the most consecrated and celebrated Old Testament way of worshipping God. The Holy Place inside the Tabernacle consists, among other things, a Candle-stand or a Lamp . The Lamp is the only source of light in the Holy Place as it is full covered on all sides, preventing any kind of natural light. For the lamp to glow continually, it needs supply of oil. Likewise, for us to shine, for us to keep glowing, for us to radiate light, we should always be filled with oil. The Oil speaks about the revelations, light, guidance provided by the indwelling presence of God – The Holy spirit. The world can offer many a different sources of light, but in the matters concerning God, they are not to be allowed. We need to rely and sustain the light by drawing our supplies from the Word of God and the Guidance of Holy Spirit!
Be the Light…to all humankind….irrespective of their religion, their race, their creed, their community, their status…!
Let your light shine before people as you are a city on a hill !