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THE PARABLES OF JESUS, #002
A Chronological Study

"You Are The Light Of The World"
Matthew 5:14-16; Mark 4:21-25; Luke 18:16-18
 



"To Him who opened His mouth in parables and
uttered things hidden since the creation of the world."
Psalm 78:2




INTRODUCTION
This is the second of two introductory ideas from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount." In our last introduction we noted that there in Matthew Chapter 5, Jesus stood addressing His disciples explaining the Law to them and just a few verses into His sermon, Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "But I say to you...." Jesus, the almighty God who breathed the universe into existence, turned His attention to His earthly disciples and began teaching them about Grace, the long-expected King, and the grace of God.

In our first lesson we explored what Jesus meant by telling them, "You are the Salt of the Land." We found that this was a two-edged sword. First, we as His disciples were to be "salty" in our witnessing, testimony, and ministry - we were to be full of vigor, flavor, and truth. Then the other side of the sword, we were to be always aware of our spiritual self-condition. For many who begin this Christian adventure... drift away, and as Luke put it of our spiritual condition, "not is it fit for the land nor the manure." So, as we look at ourselves as the Light of the World, let us always be on our guard.




The Light of the World

Matthew 5:14-16
[NASB]

Jesus Said:
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

[Lit.]
Jesus Said:
14 You are right now being the light of the world (cosmos). [you are] a city located upon a mountain -- it cannot be hidden. 15 Neither [is anyone] burning a lamp and placing it under a peck [measuring basket]. But [instead] placing it on a lampstand, and it is shining all [those] in the house. 16 Thus, let your light shine in front of men, so that they may perceive your ideal acts and should glorify your Father Who is in the heavens."

[Comments from Matthew 14-16] 
Jesus is setting the groundwork for His disciples by telling them things they won't fully understand until after His death and resurrection. It was apparently His Father's plan for them to "get it" only after the whole plan of God for His Son's ministry on earth was to be completed. Those of us with some age on us have probably had the same revelations about things our parents taught us that we didn't really get until much later on. I'm constantly amazed that my parents loved me so much... and I wasn't cognizant of their sacrifices until much later in life - even after they had gone home to be with the Lord themselves.

May we be smarter than the disciples. May we pay attention to Jesus' words and take them to heart. We can now see Jesus' story in in the Bible. We don't have to wait the three years of traveling all over Israel to do so. So let us remember Jesus' words from the last lesson... "You have ears to hear, listen, and be hearing." And remember, always, You are the Light of the World.

Here are some application notes on Matthew's verses:

Therefore:
5:14

1. If you have been called by Christ to be a witness, testimony, minister, etc., you are right now being the light of the world.

2. You are [like] a city located upon the top of a mountain. Consider the image of a great city, at night, all aglow, high up on a mountain. That's you from God's point of view!




 3. Therefore - You Cannot Be Hiding! Everything you do, say, write, etc., is a testimony. That means you had better be a good testimony of Christ and not a poor one. Being a servant of Christ is your JOB! Be sure to put as much labor and fervor into it (and more!) as you would any other part of your life that you depend on for life-support.

5:15

1. Therefore - You Can't Hide your light (the Gospel) under a pail (a cushion or a blanket)! The point is... you can't hide, no matter how hard you try - you still are a lit-up city on a mountain top! Therefore, show your light (the Gospel) as if you were putting it on a lampstand to be seen by all (It also occurs to me that at the time of Jesus and Matthew’s writing… something made out of glass would have been something extremely extravagant. Perhaps a bowl or vase in one of the richest of households. No one had glass in their windows. So, when it talks here of hiding your light under a bowl… that bowl would have been made from glazed clay and no light would have escaped from it. Context is important!).

2. Because - All those in proximity to you (like in a house) will be shined upon by your light (the Gospel).

5:16

1. "Thus," [a concluding statement] "You, do not hinder your light from shining..." That's a command from Jesus - "Do not try to keep your light from shining." When you enter a crowd of your peers - don't try to hide the witness and testimony of Christ from them - they will  just see you as a hypocrate if you do.

2. Your light shines - your testimony is always seen; your witness is always perceived - good or bad...

3. You, Shine your Gospel light right in front of men (all people). Get to that place where you are "not ashamed of the Gospel." Your "light" shines whether or not you want it to... so shine it with honor and purpose, so that others see a positive Gospel testimony from you - always.

4. YOU, DO THIS BECAUSE: it Glorifies your heavenly Father! The outcome of your servanthood, testimony, witness, is the Father's business - not yours. You cannot save anyone -- only God can do that, through His Son Jesus with His resurrection power, through His Holy Spirit. It's your job, as SALT, as LIGHT, to bring Glory to your heavenly Father... for the sake of Jesus, His Son. Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ all during your life so that God's Word will be spread with the result that many may be saved.






Therefore:

1.    We can't say it enough times, "If you have been called by Christ to be a witness, testimony, minister, etc., you are right now being the Light of the World."

In the
last lesson, we emphasized that included in this definition is the fact that you must be a "true believer." None of what Jesus has to say concerns those who are playing at Christianity, or trying to please God with our works to gain His blessings. No, His words are only applicable to those who have seen the answer to all their shortcomings and evils as being answered in His sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross, and understand that His resurrection is the evidence of our undeserved justification.

2.    In verse :15 we have seen that, whether you want to be or not, you are "The Light" in this dark world. As you identify with Christ - the World see's your glow. Many will not like your glow. Some will even hate you for glowing. Many around the world will even lose their lives because of that light. So, make your light count!

3.    Shine, Jesus, shine,

       Fill this land with the Father's glory
       Blaze, Spirit, blaze
       Set our hearts on fire
       Flow, river, flow
       Flood the nations with grace and mercy
       Send forth your word
       Lord, and let there be light
       Shine, Jesus, Shine,
       Shine through me.
“Shine, Jesus, Shine” AKA “Lord, the Light of Your Love” Graham Kendrick, 1987





Mark 4:21-25
[NASB]

Jesus Said:
21 He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.” 24 “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” 

[Lit.]

Jesus Said:

21 And He said to them that "The lamp is not coming that it may be placed under a peck measure or under a couch. Is it not that it may be placed on a lampstand? 22 For there is not anything hidden, except that it should be manifested, neither did it become concealed, but that it may be coming into manifestation. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear." 24 And He said to them, "Beware what you are hearing! With what measure you are measuring, it will be measured to you, and it will be added to you. 25 For he who has, it shall be given to him; and he who has not, even what he has shall be taken away from him."








[Comments from Mark 21-25]

1. Right off, Mark changes the context of his statement from that of Matthew. Mark starts off with the question, "Do you bring a lamp..." He puts his context right in his listener's lap... "Do YOU?" The question takes it for granted that "You" will already know the answer he is looking for.

2. The second part of his first question gets at the full meaning - "...to put it under a container or under a piece of furniture?" Why would you bring a lamp into a darkened place and hide it's light? Of course, you wouldn't - that would be silly. You'd place your lamp where it would be the most useful. Mark's point is well taken.

3. Look at verse 22. You are the lamp shining the light. The purpose of your shining light is so that things that are hidden, or concealed, would be exposed... brought out from the darkness and "into the open," manifested in your light.

4. Verses 23-24 make Mark's message very personal. A) If this, the word of God that you are hearing, concerning how God's light shines through you, then you'd better be listening and understanding the message. B) You, once understanding what you are hearing from God's Word, become responsible for what you are hearing!

Even though we won't be getting to the Parable of the Good Samaritan for a while yet, it should be familiar to you, and it serves as a great example for what this "Light of the World" parable teaches us. If you are shining God's light, and you see the broken one on the side of the road... What should you do? You should do as the Good Samaritan did.

5. Because... According to Verse 24-25, teaches that you will be held responsible for what YOU see as the result of what you do as a result of YOUR SHINING LIGHT.

6. And, because it is God's Light shining through you, the standard of how you respond to what you see and hear will be higher, much higher.




Luke 8:16-18
[NASB]

16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they think they have will be taken from them.”

[Lit.]
16 "Now no one, lighting a lamp, is covering it with a vessel or is placing it underneath a couch, but is placing it on a lampstand that those going in may be observing the light. 17 For nothing is hidden which shall not become apparent, neither concealed which should not by all means be known and come to be apparent. 18 Beware, then, how you are hearing! For whoever may have, to him shall be given, and whoever may not have, from him shall be taken away also what he is supposed to have."

[Comments]
1. Why do you light a candle, a flashlight, or a lamp in a darkened place? Because it's DARK there.

2. Where is "there?" There is wherever you are.

3. This is a tricky one. If someone is walking along in the dark and comes to where you are, what happens? Where you are is being exposed to your light, and while they are there with you, they can see what your light exposes (whether they like what they see or not is not the issue). The issue is, "what do you see about them while they are in your light?", and "what should you do about it?".

4. A good, strong, effective light exposes everything. Those standing in God's Light through you, are supposed to see Jesus. In doing so, they will see many things in their own lives - in comparison to His light. Their "darkness" will be "exposed."

5. You will be responsible for your "light." They will be responsible for their reactions to His light through you.

6. Both you and they will be responsible for your parts in the encounter. Being the bearer of God's precious light makes you responsible for the care and feeding of the light (for what you hear, and do). They, being the hearers of God's precious light make them responsible for God's revelation to them concerning His Son.



WRAP-UP COMMENTARY on Light:

If you are "hearing" then it should be already be obvious that "light" refers to the way that God works through His Holy Spirit when we encounter both other believers and unbelievers.

God's Holy Spirit is at work all around us and He uses His believers to encounter unbelief and "expose" their hearts to His power. The picture that the Gospel writers use is "Light." You enter a situation where another person is in darkness (without Christ, Ill, Troubled, Alone, Grieving, etc.,). God's Spirit uses you to witness, give testimony, minister (both physically and spiritually) and then uses those things to sensitize and change the other person's heart.

Then you both are, in a special way, responsible for your part in this encounter with God. For you as the "Light," Who you are, how you act, what you know, how you love the other person will be judged and hopefully rewarded. For the other person, as the "hearer," How receptive they are to God's spirit, how they respond to the hearing of God's Word and the revelation of Jesus as their needed Savior, will also be judged. Both aspects will be judged by a both loving and righteous God.



FOLLOW-UP QUESIONS WITHOUT ANSWERS
1. Who, in this parable, does it call "The Light of the World"?
 

2. Are you to be hiding the light that God has endowed you with, and what symbol, according to Matthew, are we to be identified with

 
3. According to Matthew 5:16 what are others to see in you because of your "Light" being shown?


4. According to Mark 4:22 what does the light of you lamp do?

 
5. Who can hear Jesus' messages brought forth by these parables?

 
6. What does that mean?

 
7. According to Luke 8:16-18, who puts a lamp in a dark place and hides it under a clay pot?

 
8. What does that mean in the context of these verses?

 
9. What is the warning concerning your testimony, witness, and ministry?





FOLLOW-UP QUESIONS WITH ANSWERS

1.    Who, in this parable, does it call "The Light of the World"?
All true believers

2.    Are you to be hiding the light that God has endowed you with, and what symbol, according to Matthew, are we to be identified with?
No, and we are to be as a city of light, on a mountain top.

3.    According to Matthew 5:16 what are others to see in you because of your "Light" being shown?
They are to see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

4.    According to Mark 4:22 what does the light of you lamp do?
Your light discloses whatever is concealed and brings it out into the light.

5.    Who can hear Jesus' messages brought forth by these parables?
Those who have ears to hear them.

6.    What does that mean?
Those who have been enabled by God's Holy Spirit to hear and understand the messages of the Parables.

7.    According to Luke 8:16-18, who puts a lamp in a dark place and hides it under a clay pot?
No one!

8.    What does that mean in the context of these verses?
God has prepared believers to be a method of communicating the very words of Jesus to a fallen world.

9.    What is the warning concerning your testimony, witness, and ministry?
Your effectiveness as a believer will be evaluated by God, you were not called, chosen, saved, just for yourself!



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