The Light Of The World

I have a tie-clip inherited from my late maternal grandfather that brings a great deal of amusement to my friends due to its Illuminati implications.  Now, it must be freely admitted because it is impossible to conceal that I have long had a great deal of interest in pondering the goings on of those who fancy themselves to be elites and particularly illuminated when compared to the common herd of humanity [1].  This is not done out of mere pride, for I recognize in myself the danger that I could view my own God-given gifts of intellect as being sufficient reason to look down on other people.  Nor is it done out of mere meanspiritedness towards those who consider themselves or are considered by others to be elites  or illuminated ones, or mere envy or caprice, although I must freely own that like many people who fancy themselves witty and clever I enjoy making sport of that which comes into my observation or reflection, especially that which is particularly ironic or ridiculous, and the thought of people who consider themselves to be bringers of light who hide in the darkness is both highly ironic and ridiculous, and so would be expected to exercise my own great capacity for witty humor at the expense of such pretensions.  Even so, whatever my own limitations as a person, it is worthwhile for us to examine what it means to be the light of the world, especially if we wish to avoid falling into the same error as those we criticize or ridicule.

Earlier today one of the speakers at church sought to explore what it meant to be a light of the world, albeit briefly since he was only giving a longish sermonette.  He commented that there are places where Jesus Christ points to believers as the light of the world, as it is written in Matthew 5:14-16:  ““You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Yet in other places, as in John 8:12, the focus is on Jesus Christ Himself:  “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.””  How are we to reconcile these two passages and their meanings, and what does this mean with regards to believers and the often maligned and ridiculed Illuminati of our own world.?

Let us answer each question in turn.  First, how are we to reconcile an understanding that Jesus Christ is the real light of the world and that we are lights as well, albeit in a lesser and reflective sense?  It helps us at this point to remember that we are in the place of the moon in the night.  As lesser lights reflecting the glory of God and Jesus Christ, we only shine to the extent that we reflect their light just as the moon reflects the light of the sun in the night, and we possess no light source of our own apart from God.  There will come a time when there is no need for the moon because there will be no more night, but for the moment at least we dwell in a world largely in darkness because it has rejected the source of light, and so the light that we provide to the world through our godly example is the only indirect light that can be provided under the circumstances, even if it is only partial and even if it is imperfect because we do not perfectly reflect the righteousness of God in our own lives despite our best efforts.  At any rate, the light of the moon allows for God to indirectly shine a light on our path, even if that light is not as profound or intense as it would be if the sun shone directly, but those who have rejected the light can receive no more intense glare until their day of visitation anyway.

As might be imagined, this has a great deal to do with the question of what sort of help or aid is supposed to be provided to our world, and how we are to behave.  Our self-knowledge that we are but imperfect reflections of the glory of God and of His Christ should help prevent us from the arrogance that results from thinking that the light and good that come to the world through us are due to our own goodness or our own righteousness or due to some supposed divinity within us.  On the other hand, even if we should be pessimistic about the state of darkness within the world, we would do well to remember that the purpose of our being indirect light is to serve and assist a world that has chosen to be in darkness by rejecting the light of God’s ways.  Despite our own shyness or diffidence, we are intended to provide an example to the world so that the world may profit from seeing God’s ways in action.  This cannot be done when we refuse to set good examples in our own lives and when we value our secrecy and pride ourselves on our illuminated status while looking down on those who lack the light in some fashion.  The only reason we have been given light to shine is so that it may illuminate the way for other people.  If we are not helping others in their lives, we are not serving as a gift to humanity from our Creator, and that is something quite blameworthy.  So let our light shine, that we may be lights in a world of darkness and not make that darkness worse by refusing to serve as the conduits of divine grace to unworthy mankind.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christianity, Church of God, History, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Light Of The World

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Studies In The Sermon On The Mount | Edge Induced Cohesion

  2. Pingback: Oh, That We Might See Some Good | Edge Induced Cohesion

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