The Light in You

Amy Clemens

Read: Matthew 5:13-16

Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God. (v. 16 MSG)

Jesus tells a crowd at the temple, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), then he tells the crowd during his Sermon on the Mount, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Is there a contradiction, or what exactly is Jesus saying?

When God called and began to shape a people, it was so they, like Jesus, would reveal who God really is to a world that had forgotten. “If you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant,” says God to the newly delivered Hebrews, “you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).

The mandate of God gets lost somewhere along the line—be holy for the sake of the whole earth that belongs to God, not just the sake of a treasured few. Jesus reminds us, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept . . . If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you?” (v. 14 MSG). Like Jesus, we are light-bearers, opening up our light to others, prompting them to open up with God. —Amy Clemens

As you pray, ask that the light in you be renewed and shared generously.