The Light of the World

David Bast

Read: Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light of the world. (v. 14)

There are many ways the image of light and darkness is used in the Bible. Here are at least three. One, light suggests truth, as opposed to the darkness of ignorance or error. Dominus illuminatio mea is the motto of Oxford University; that’s Psalm 27:1: “The LORD is my light.” Two, light stands for good, darkness for evil. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19). Three, light represents life, and darkness death. “For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life” (Ps. 56:13).

Jesus said that he was the light of the world, and that whoever followed him would never walk in darkness but would have the light of life (John 8:12). He also said we are the light of the world. Here’s the great, obvious thing about light: it’s visible. Even a little light carries a long way on a pitch-black night. Darkness can never conquer light. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5). Darkness can’t extinguish our lights, but we can, if we choose to hide them.

The world can no longer see Jesus and his light physically, but it can see us. Hmm. Do you suppose he meant for the light of his truth, goodness, and life to continue shining through our good works? —David Bast

Prayer: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”