Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 101 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Matthew 5 today and our focus is on the fact that Jesus calls His FOLLOWERS the light of the world! We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Accra, Ghana, Karachi, Pakistan, Bavaria, Germany, Bihar, India, Los Angeles, California, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

This is a ten minute podcast…at least in theory. I know yesterday’s pod was about 3 minutes too long – but, it is meant to be ten minutes, and there is no way in the world we can cover the Sermon on the Mount, which we are reading today, in ten minutes, so we are going to focus on one truth from the most famous and beautiful sermon in history. Today we are going to focus on light and grapple with a most important question: who is the light of the World?

What is the first thing that God created? Genesis 1: 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness covered the surface of the watery depths, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.

If we go back to the beginning of time – the beginning of all of creation, we find a Father who is concerned with CREATING LIGHT. His first creation was light, and His first pronouncement about His creation was that light was good. 

But – the people of God continually chose darkness, over light, because their deeds were evil.  BUT – a greater but, Isaiah 9 foretells that HOPE is coming – a hope in the form of light: 9:2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.

Indeed, that light appeared, and it was Jesus – the light of the World. God’s purpose in creating light and His purpose in raising up a man in whom He would bless all of the nations of the earth became whole and complete in Jesus. Jesus who was the light of the world. John 8:12,  Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life. Again, JESUS WAS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. 

BUT Then – Jesus says this amazing thing: Matthew 5:14-16 14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

And we see that it is possible – indeed, it is a MANDATE, for followers of Jesus to SHINE BRIGHTLY. Jesus Himself said this of His cousin John, the forerunner: John 5:35  35 John was a burning and shining lamp, and for a time you were willing to enjoy his light.

Jesus said this to His disciples in John 12:36,36 While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.”

Paul exhorted the Ephesian Christians in EPHESIANS 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light9 for the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth— 10 discerning what is pleasing to the Lord.

So, here it is: God is the Father of Lights and the creator of light – the first created thing (we know of) that He called good. He sent His Son to be the light of the world, and He was. His Son appointed His followers to be the lights of the world – and that is our key truth for the day. Jesus has called and equipped us to be His shining lights to the world. Let’s read the passage and revel in all of the wonderful truths presented here in the Sermon on the Mount. 

What does it mean practically that we are the light of the world? We can’t cover the totality of it today, but we can get a small taste of truth from Paul, who gives us a glimpse into the reality of being lights in Philippians 2:

Philippians 2:13-16A:  13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to the message of life.

As followers of Jesus,  we have a calling to be a lighthouse – a Haven of Hope. Grumbling and complaining dim that light, which is meant to shine out of us like the stars in the sky. Here’s Spurgeon to close us out with more about being the light of the world, even if you are a very young or new Christian:

Wherever there is faith in Christ, there is light, for Jesus himself said that those who follow him would not walk in darkness (Jn 8:12). Genuine faith in Christ turns a person from darkness to marvelous light and transforms him into light in the Lord so that the light pours forth from the windows so as to be seen by others. The believer is appointed to be a lighthouse to others, a cheering lamp, and a guiding star. His light will be increased as he learns more of Christ. He will be able to impart more instruction to others when he has received more. But even while he is a beginner, his faith in Jesus is in itself a light.

Spurgeon, The Spurgeon Study Bible: Notes (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2017), 1287–1288.

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for April  James 4:6 “But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

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