MATTHEW 5:15,16 – LIGHT SHINES
v15 “Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Your light must shine before people in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
WHAT DOES IT SAY?
Jesus is using an extreme example and a simile to explain a profound Truth. No sensible person will light a lamp only to hide it under a basket. So, naturally, you put a lamp on a lamp stand, so it is useful and effective. Similarly, your “light” (your goodness, truth and justice), in order to be useful and effective, must shine or be seen in such a way to glorify God, Who is in heaven. (give God all the credit).
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
What comes next is critically important. Jesus describes the realty of the relationships between the Spiritual and the Natural realms. They are spoken of in parable, but, they are real.
There are both separation and connection between the Spiritual realm (the Kingdom of Heaven) and the natural realm of the world. This is important for the Christian disciple to understand because any effort to “do the works of Jesus” are based on understanding these principles.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
Hebrews 11;1,2 “reveals to us that that FAITH is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. It is by faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”
It is impossible to permanently affect or change the natural world from evil into good with just human effort or by our natural understanding. We must begin on the Spiritual basis and the natural will follow – the natural must obey the Spiritual. This is God’s Spiritual law of creation. It is how He made the worlds. It is known as “the order of Higher to the lesser”. The natural must obey the Spiritual, or another way of saying is the Spiritual is always manifest into the natural and never the other way around.
NOTE: Scriptures warn us that this does not come easily. It is “the fervent prayers of a righteous man which accomplishes much. Jesus teaches this often and just as often it is overlooked and therefore misapplied or not applied in our Kingdom practices, at all.
In this particular teaching, Jesus says that “people do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but they put it on a lamp stand, so it will give light to all who are in the house.”
It is important to recognize that (1) the “people” Jesus is referring to, at this point, are Israelites or Jews who are becoming His disciples; and the (2) “the house” is the House of Israel. So, those who are hearing His words immediately recognize the significance of His Words and their inclusion in this teaching.
This is also true for any and all future Christians. In other words, Jesus is talking directly to you and me and all of His disciples, that is, those who follow and wish to obey Him.
Jesus, next, moves from the Spiritual basis in verse 14 to the natural in verses 15 and 16. He is stating a Spiritual Truth in verse 14 and then describing what the looks like or how it behaves in the natural world, by way of metaphor. This give the natural mind a way to understand a Spiritual Truth and, hopefully, a way to grasp this teaching so to apply it.
I.e., WHAT IS SEEN (natural realm) = COMES FROM WHAT IS NOT VISIBLE (Spiritual realm). It has been spoken into being by God.
WHAT WILL YOU DO?
It is not your light but the Eternal Light of God dwelling within you. Will you step out of the shadows and Let His “Light” illuminate the entire house?
This is our calling!
Your Brother and Friend,
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PS: An acquaintance recently told me that I should not pray in public because it might offend some people and that it made me look like a phony; she said that I was just showing off and that I should let people “see Jesus” by how I live. I tried that and all anyone ever said was “he is a nice guy”. IT’S NOT ABOUT ME OR YOU – IT’S ABOUT JESUS. GO, TELL, SHOW AND SHARE JESUS by how you live and by what you say. LIVE JESUS as you go! (By the way, this person who criticizes public ministry is a Catholic and that seems pretty common there. Please tell me I am wrong.)