“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden;” (Matthew 5:14 NAS95)
I generally roll right past this verse when I read it and I say, “Yeah, sure, me?” Maybe you have the same reaction, but Jesus says something significant, and I don’t think He means I need to be perfect, so that I attract attention. I think He means something quite different. What about taking just a minute to rest in this word to you, me, and the community of disciples in Christ. “You are the light of the world.”
As Jesus relates the realm of His Kingdom here, for those entering and living it it, they are lights. A community of light that He intends to display before everyone else. As I have wrestled with this, I take it to mean my interactive relationship with the King, which is invisible to others, but made visible by my responsiveness to Him. Yes, my good works have significance, but not apart from my responsiveness to the King. They result from that relationship.
A librarian at the Jagiellonian University gave me a 500,000 zł note instead of the 50,000 zł note she should have. A Frenchman watched as I informed her of the mistake. The librarian expressed deep gratitude and changed it out for a 50,000 zł note. The notes look very similar, except for one zero. My inner conversation initiated by God prompted me to let her know, and I didn’t think anything of it. God had already cultivated in me a habit of responsiveness to His interactions and He made me notice the extra zero. Otherwise I would have missed it, as the librarian did. I didn’t even notice the Frenchman at the time, except that night he came to my door and asked a strange question: “Why did you do it?” I had no idea what he was talking about until he further explained. That opened a conversation about the Gospel. My relationship to God was made visible by obedience to His presence. I wasn’t being moral, I was responding to my King—He allowed me to see the extra zero. I did a double-take due to His interaction with me in that moment.
“You are the light of the world” comes to me not as a righteousness of my own when I think of this, but of living out of right faithfulness to my relationship with God. His invisible interaction with me in the moment made the Frenchman curious, casting light on the Gospel and my relationship with God.
Warmly in Christ,
“For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light.” (Psalm 36:9 NAS95)
What stories can you share where your invisible interactions with God opened spiritual conversations with those far from Him?
Where do Jesus’ words, “You are the light of the world,” take you in your understanding of your relationship with God?