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Light of the World Matthew 5

Posted by adventbiblestudy on May 12, 2010


KJV Matthew 5:14-16
14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

This is a short study that will examine one of the key words in Jesus’ parable of the light. This study will show how understanding the spiritual meaning of one word will shed more light on a parable than all the thoughts of men, written or spoken about the subject.

It will help to understand a parable and keep it within the proper context if you rewrite it in your own words, paying close attention to the key words and how they are used.

You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither is a light. When a candle is lite it is not placed under a basket, but is put high on a candlestick; where it will give light to everyone in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

Your light is to be seen by others. But the question remains, what is the spiritual meaning of light? To find the spiritual meaning, we must locate other texts with the word light.

Light

KJV Genesis 1:3. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

It may seem obvious, God created physical light, but this is an important point when searching for the spiritual meaning for the word light. The parable tells us, we are to let our light shine to glorify God. Since God created physical light, it goes without saying, God also created spiritual light.

KJV Isaiah 5:20. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

Light is compared to good, and darkness is compared to evil.

KJV Ecclesiastes 2:13. Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

KJV Psalms 97:11. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

KJV Psalms 119:105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

KJV 2 Samuel 22:29. For thou art my lamp, O Lord: and the Lord will lighten my darkness.

KJV Psalms 119:129. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore doth my soul keep them. 130. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.

KJV Isaiah 8:20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

KJV Hosea 6:5. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of my mouth: and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.

KJV 2 Peter 1:19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

Comparing scripture with scripture, we are shown light represents wisdom, righteousness, God’s word, law, testimony, judgment and prophecy. This is the light we are to show the world.

We can now paraphrase the text, substituting the spiritual meaning for the key word.

KJV Matthew 5:14-16
14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

God’s word is the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it will give God’s word to all that are in the house. Let God’s word go through you, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

As with all the parables of Jesus, this one teaches a moral and a spiritual lesson. In order for God’s word to shine though us, we must know His word, testimony, law, and all of God’s ways. How can we properly represent God, unless we personally know Him. We know God through His living word.

KJV 2 Corinthians 4:6
6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

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