“Your light must shine before others”

In the Gospels, we read of Jesus speaking to the disciples. But his message is also to us. In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells us to be a light to the world, to shine before others to glorify the heavenly Father.

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”

“You are the light of the world,” says Jesus. “Your light must shine before others.” Don’t hide it, let your light – your goodness, your righteousness – shine that others may see it. Not for your glory, but to “glorify your heavenly Father.”

Jesus cautions us on how to be righteous. Not to parade it before others for our own sake. For instance, not to pray in public for our own adoration, not to seek out the seat of honor as guest at someone’s dinner, not to do good works for the sake of being seen to do good works. Rather, we are to do what we do for the glory of God — let Him take our good works on and make of them as He will. As Jesus commanded, help those in need, without boasting or taking credit, and let the credit go to God. Our reward will be in heaven.

There need not be the poor, the homeless, the sick, the hungry. God created the many, each with abundant gifts to share. When we share the gifts that God gave us, we are doing God’s work. To Him be the glory for His creation, the light of the world.

Jesus was speaking to the disciples, but He was also speaking to us. We are to be the light Jesus sends out into the world. Let us go out into the world in His name that others may know Him and His love, His mercy, His compassion. And the love, compassion, and mercy of His heavenly Father.

Jesus sent out His disciples with these words: Peace be with you. Go out now with His peace to light up the world. Shine with the glory of God.

 

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