“Let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
In Matthew 5-7 we have the largest collection of Jesus’ teaching in any one spot. Matthew has an incredible assortment of important tings that Jesus wants his followers to know. Known as “The Sermon on the Mount,” this section is a few pages long and, if you have a red letter bible (where all the sayings of Jesus are in red type), you will see page after page of red text. It really jumps off the page at you!
The sentence above is a key challenge by Jesus to his followers. Disciples of Jesus will stand out in the world and be noticed for the good they do. Following Jesus means making a noticeable impact on the world around us. To be a Christian is not just about church attendance. It is about a life that shines with the work of God throughout the week.
In addition, if you read about this in the context of Jesus’ sermon, you will notice something else. This is not really optional for Jesus. Anything other than followers who shine with the work of God is an anomaly. It just doesn’t make sense. Just as no one would light a lamp and then cover it up with a basket, so also does God not change lives and then have people hide how God has made a difference.
That’s the call of discipleship. God has come to us in Christ and claimed us. God has entered into our lives and changed us. Now, as a result we live these new lives in the world and draw attention, not to ourselves, but to God.
Reflect on your life and the way you live throughout the week. In the ways you treat people, spend money, and do your work – can people see God through you? If not, what’s covering it up (since God is there). It may be that by letting your light shine a little brighter, both your life and the lives of others will be changed in some amazing ways.