In my quest to seeking a deeper relationship with God I have been exploring valuable truths that have the potential to ignite me to new dimensions of intimacy with Jesus. One such passage for me has been Matthew 5:14-15 – “You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”
Jesus begins with a powerful declaration: “You are the light of the world.”
People often get very disturbed because the world is dark. That’s because the world is not light. What else can a sinful place be but dark? The world is lost and without any direction because the world is not light. Jesus is the Light, and we are to reflect Him. Yet, many of us extinguish our lamp when we go to work, school, or into our neighbourhood or community. We assume we need to blend in rather than bring a little heat. But Jesus is saying to us light it up and lift it up.
He continues with reference to the basket as a bowl, big enough to cover a lamp. He describes a light not snuffed out but covered up. The light is not extinguished. It is rendered ineffective.
Jesus was speaking to a crowd of just ordinary people, yet His audience at the time would have understood. Most Jewish homes were modest one – room structures, placing a lamp on a lampstand could give light to everyone in the house. Jesus contrasts elevating a lamp on a lampstand to covering a lamp with a basket. People don’t light a lamp to hide its light under a basket. Rather, people light a lamp in order to shed light to everyone in the house.
But it was the final statement that I turned my thoughts to. Jesus zooms in from the glow of a city to the glow of a household. “… and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:15
The glow of the household – really got me thinking and directed my attention to the diversity in the term “household”. In the scriptures, household does not always strictly refer to a family or a group of relatives. It often includes other people who are associated with a house or a family. Paul uses the phrase “household of faith” in Galatians 6:10- ‘Be mindful to be a blessing, especially to those of the household of faith [those who belong to God’s family with you, the believers].’ AMP
Here I was sensing a particular kind of household – one that is synonymous with the family of God. The household of faith consists of all whose faith is in Jesus Christ, all those who have believed the gospel.
The common denominator in the household of faith is, obviously, saving faith in the Lord Jesus. And from a purely human perspective, that may be the only thing held in common between many of the members of God’s household. So, for the majority of believers, the only thing in common with one another is faith.
Revelation leads us to understand that the household of faith will ultimately consist of people from every tongue, tribe, and nation on earth that has ever existed.
Now that we have identified who is the household, how are we going to be a light to them? Let’s look at it from a different perspective – a kingdom perspective.
Today, we are the light of the world – that’s how God intends to get his work done on earth today: through us, not because of anything in ourselves, but because we are in an intimate relationship with the light of the world, Jesus Christ. He will simply shine through us. We won’t be able to help it; light just pours forth. Through this relationship, the Lord wants to set us on fire [light us up, as it were] before the face of, God, to shine with the light of a relationship that enjoys intimacy first – living in the presence of, under the authority of, and to the honour and glory of God.
If our light is pure and bright, the Lord will set us on a lampstand so that we might give light to the entire household of faith. But if the light of our love isn’t pure – then the Lord will place our light under a basket.
May we each learn the secret of loving Jesus first and foremost, that He might see fit to place our lamp on a lampstand and make the simplicity and purity of our devotion an example to the greater household of faith. Amen
Are you willing to burn brightly for the Lord?