As if we hadn’t heard so much wisdom and hadn’t been given enough to chew on, to absorb, from the message about salt, Jesus keeps serving us rich, extravagant food in His teachings! He continues to lavish wisdom on us!
Jesus shifts from focusing on salt to focusing on light. He tells us we are the light of the world. “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Who was He talking to? How did He know He was talking to “light”?
The Light of the World
Certainly the majority of the crowd sitting at Jesus feet on the hillside near the Sea of Galilee was Jews. They were the light to the world. From the crowd Jesus would call some disciples. The masses hadn’t yet begun to follow Him. His audience wasn’t Christians like us, either! So who were they and why were they the light of the world?
In Luke, we see a devout, old Jew named Simeon who was filled with the Holy Spirit. This man was promised by God to witness the birth of the Messiah before he saw death. He came into the Temple in Jerusalem to witness baby Jesus getting circumcised on the 8th day, also significant, and being filled with the Holy Spirit instantly recognized Him to be the Messiah. Remember, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary did not stick around there, but took the efforts to head to Jerusalem to dedicate young Jesus in the Temple. Simeon says in Luke 2:29-32,
“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”
God Draws All Nations to Himself
The people on the hillside, the Israelis, were a luminary set to reflect the Messiah to the whole world in time. This was also God’s plan, to draw all nations to Himself. When Jesus tells the people that a city on a hill can’t be hidden, He is giving them insight that He is a bright light now shining in their city, and soon from within some of them, and they won’t be able to hide all that light. That light will soon spread to the Gentiles, fulfilling God’s plan.
If this wasn’t “brilliant” enough, Jesus reveals more about light.
What is light and what is its function?
Light dispels darkness. Our presence should dispel darkness. Light reveals. Christ’s light reveals darkness in others. Light shows the way out of darkness. We should lead others out of it.
There is one other thing that we might overlook when speaking about the effects of light. When you are sleeping in bed and someone barges in and flicks on the light switch in the middle of your sleep, how do you feel? Light offends. If we are light, we must recognize we will offend many by turning on the light!
So, are we letting our light shine before men, or is our light snuffed out? What about the Body of Christ? Jesus is saying here, His followers, and only His followers are the light of the world. The aim is for others to see our light. We should not be hiding the light in us. We are luminaries. Ideally, we will point others to the true light.
Written by Jori Sams
Jori Sams is a Christian author and freelance writer with nearly 2000 published pieces on the Internet, with over 1500 being published by Yahoo. Her books are published through Writeious Books. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her following the sun…