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Friday, 1 November 2019

Matthew 5 : 1-16

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16

Matthew 5:3-12 is generally termed the Beatitudes, eight of them starting with the word, “Blessed.”  They represent the excellence of character and lifestyle of a citizen of the Kingdom of GOD, some of which we may have and some, we must desire to have.

In the second part of today’s reading, Jesus uses two analogies – that of ‘salt’ and ‘light’ to speak of the believer- to drive home certain truths. Just as salt gives flavour/taste to food, so the believer is to flavour other lives he/she touches. Just as light dispels darkness, so the believer is called to do works that dispel darkness in ours an others’ lives.

To the believer, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world!” Does it contradict what Jesus Himself said, “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12)? No! Jesus the Light of the world has given us His light that we too become lights in this dark world (darkened by sin and wickedness, under the sway of the wicked one – 1 John 5:19)- we are His reflective lights!

Jesus gives practical examples of how a light is to shine forth from a believer using two objects – a city on a hill that is visible to everybody; a lamp on a lamp stand, giving light to all in the house. We are called to illuminate the minds of men and to enlighten the world [Clarke’s Commentary] with the light of His Knowledge- “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 4:6)

Now comes the exhortation- Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify Your Father in heaven! We have been lighted by the Light of the world to lighten other lives- this is not an option but an responsibility on our part as light- bearers. GOD has prepared good works for believers in advance for them to do (Eph.2:20)- we are to do them in order to bring glory to our Father in heaven. John 14:12-13 says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” We have the assurance from Jesus that in His name we would do works that will bring glory to our Heavenly Father. There are so many good works which will bring glory to His name-among them being, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth (Acts 13:47,48) and bearing much fruit (John 15:8).

May the LORD enable us to walk in His light (1John 1:7), shine forth His light to the dark world that many groping in the dark world will find the light of Christ through us (for we shine as lights in this crooked generation)— in so doing when we stand before Him one day, we will rejoice in His presence with those who have been brought to His light through us! (Phil.2:14-16)

To Act on:

“Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us”

1 Peter 2:12

Listen-Shine Jesus Shine!’

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