You are the Light of the World

Text — Matthew 5:14-16


  1. Introduction
    1. We live in a dark, sin-cursed world
      1. The popular culture has reached appoint where it calls the evil of sexual immorality and sexual perversion good.
      2. There is no value on chastity and modesty, even among many Christians. 80% of the back babies and 50% of white babies are born out of wedlock.
      3. Marriage has become optional. 30% of our population now cohabits. 75% of our children will live with only one of their biological parents at some point in their life.
      4. We have become a culture of death. From abortion to euthanasia in Oregon to a murder rate that is higher than the combat losses on the battlefield.
      5. Governments are oppressive. What God intended to be a blessing to protect all people has become a curse to both the civilized and uncivilized worlds.
      6. War is all that some people have ever known in the Middle East and Africa.
      7. Our world is ignorant. Our public schools have failed to teach our children the basics of American history, mathematics and science. The American education system, once the envy of the world has become so perverted that it is driving our young men away. They are dropping out of school at alarming rates. Women now make up 60-80% of our college enrollment.
      8. We have abandon wisdom for political correctness, and our news outlets can’t even be trusted to report the truth.
    2. I could continue, and you could add your examples. Let’s just say that it is very dark, very sinful
    3. It is into this very dark, very ignorant, very foolish, very sinful world that Jesus sat down on a hill side, gathered his disciples around him and said, “You are the light of the world.” The hope of the world lies with us!
  2. Explanation of the text
    1. Verse 14, “Light in the OT as in the NT it most frequently symbolizes:
      1. purity as opposed to filth,
      2. truth as opposed to error
      3. honesty as opposed to deception
      4. knowledge as opposed to ignorance,
      5. divine revelation and presence as opposed to reprobation and abandonment by God.” (Vol. 8, p. 139)
    2. Jesus follows this declaration with two observations:
      1. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (describe the word picture)
        1. Point: If you are truly light you cannot hide.
      2. You don’t light a lamp and put it under a basket
        1. Point: Your purpose is to shine; don’t try to avoid the consequences of shining
      3. Verse 16, Your light is going to shine
        1. You light is your good deeds and your good words.
        2. Let it shine before the public in such a way that it bring glory to God and not to you.
        3. Alfred Barnes, “The proper motive to influence us is not simply that we may be seen (compare Matthew 6:1), but it should be that our heavenly Father may be glorified. The Pharisees acted to be seen of men, true Christians act to glorify God, and care little what people may think of them, except as by their conduct others may he brought to honor God.”
  3. Conclusion
    1. It is true that our world is a dark place. And we may be just a small light, but a small light in a totally dark place seems like a beacon.
    2. God has a plan to bring light to the world and it is you and me.