The Light of the World

Read: Matthew 5:14-16

In John 8 Jesus is attending the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem and makes the bold and true statement at the Temple that he is God’s Son and a light to give the people guidance in a world that is filled with darkness.  This is just one of the many “I AM” statements of Jesus and by saying this Jesus is promising to give us another option to remaining in darkness.

While the guidance of Jesus is a definite blessing in the believers life, we also must realize that in Matthew 5 Jesus is calling us to be his light in this world.  What does that mean?  What does that look like?  Some might say that it means we need to share the Good News of Jesus with people.  That is true.

Some might say that we need to help those who have physical needs and be the light of Jesus in that way.  That is true.  But perhaps there are even more ways than that to be this light.  I was reminded of that this week by someone I crossed paths with.  This person was reflecting the light of Christ even though they may not have realized it as that when they were speaking.

I was with someone who spoke of other people in such an uplifting way.  This person used words such as “jewel,” “blessing,” and “wonderful person” to describe the people that came up in our discussions.  It made me pause to think about how encouraging that was to hear of others spoken of in such a positive light.  The light of Christ was being shown by the way people were lifted up.

Too often in our world we see examples of people tearing down other people.  When names come up we sometimes hear more negative (dark) references to people than we do positive (light) references.  It made me think, do we ever view this kind of light as being from Jesus and a part of what Jesus instructs us to be and do in Matthew 5?

When Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World” he was proclaiming to be the positive, encouraging, and guiding light to show people the way to God and the way to be saved from the darkness of this world.  My prayer is that as I converse with people in the days ahead I would give off this same light as this other person radiated to me this week.  I hope you will  join me in building others up instead of tearing them down.  Both in person and in second person.

Make it personal:  As you speak with people this week make note of how you are talking of other people.  Is it positive and life giving.  Is it casting darkness or spreading light?  Even when difficult conversations must take place we can always try to see the best in each other and leave those times feeling like the light of Christ was shared.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church