A Light Piercing the Darkness, Lessons From the Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 5: 14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
The world is walking in darkness. You need only watch the nightly news to realize how deep that darkness is. You need only remember where Jesus found you, to recall the power that darkness held over you. Remember that the darkness is so profound that the world cannot see the things of God for what they are:
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. - 1Corinthians 2:14
The things of God appear as foolishness to man. He cannot understand them. All he knows is the darkness. The darkness is oddly comforting in that it is familiar. But praise God that He sent Christ into the world:
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8: 12
And so it was that we passed from darkness into His glorious light. With our spiritual blindness behind us, we forge ahead to try and do His will and the key verses above show us that now through the Holy Spirit, we become the light for the world as well. With Jesus Christ in us, we not only bring the Gospel to the lost but a light to pierce their darkness. These verses from the Gospel of Matthew are from the Sermon on the Mount. Right after the Beatitudes, Jesus starts teaching the ever growing crowd on a whole range of topics but this discussion of salt and light is first and contains many truths.
Jesus gives two metaphors to describe the role we are to play as a light unto the world. The first one refers to a city on a hill. Jesus teaches that a city on a hill cannot be hidden. Likewise, our Christianity should not be hidden from the world. It should not be the biggest secret in the office or in the neighborhood. The second metaphor Jesus uses here is that we are likened to a lamp. Jesus teaches that you do not place a lit lamp under a bowl, but rather on a stand so that we might provide light to everyone in the house. This metaphor is more local in nature; more personal. Just as we are to be a light to the world, we are also to be a light in our own house as well; to our own families. This is possibly mentioned second by Jesus not because of importance but rather because it is often more difficult. Take comfort in the fact that whatever we go through, Christ also had to endure. After visiting his own hometown, Jesus was dismissed by the residents; to which Jesus taught: