It was early morning when the people came to Jesus on the grassy mountainside. They were fishermen and farmers who were used to getting up early. They sat quietly listening to Jesus as the dark sky began to grow bright with the rising sun.
Jesus knew these people were not educated. Some could not read at all. They had never studied in the famous schools of the country. But they knew a lot about nature. Every day they learned about the wind and sun, animals, and plants, mountains and rivers. So Jesus talked about things they understood.
He lifted His face to the bright shining sun. Then He looked at His disciples — the 12 apostles He had chosen, and the many other men, women, boys and girls who believed in Him.
“You are the light of the world,” He said to them.
He looked at the hills around Him. Here and there a small village gleamed white in the morning sun.
“A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” The people looked at the hill towns and nodded their heads.
“No one lights a lamp and puts a basket over it,” He continued. “They put it on a candlestick to light the whole house.”
Most of these people were very poor and lived in houses that had only one room. A candle set on a stand in the middle of the room gave light to the whole family.
Then Jesus told His disciples and those gathered around Him what to do. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The Bible says Jesus is the true Light. We are to let His light shine in us. We don’t have to work hard to make the light shine, any more than we have to work hard to be pure and righteous.
If we love Jesus, if we let His love and His Word fill our hearts, the light of His life and love will shine out in all we say and all we do.
Jesus wants us to light the whole world. That means everyone, rich or poor, famous or ordinary, healthy or sick, no matter what color or religion or nationality.
When we are filled with Jesus’ light, we will love a homeless person as much as a doctor or famous actor. We will love the most unpopular kid in school as much as the president of the student council.
Our kindness to everyone—will show Jesus’ light to all who know us.
We shine for Jesus when we refuse to use drugs or do other things to harm the bodies He gave us. We shine for Jesus when we visit lonely people in nursing homes, when we adopt a grandparent or become a Big Brother or Big Sister.
We can cheer sad people by taking time to talk with them. We can give food or clothes or toys to someone who doesn’t have enough.
When the light of Jesus’ love is in us, He will help us to be cheerful and thoughtful of others, even when we are going through bad times of our own. He will help our light to shine all the time, not just when we are having a good day.
Then, when we tell people Jesus loves them, they will know it is true. They will know He has sent us to make their lives brighter. They will see and welcome His light that shines from us.
The light of love is much better than the darkness of a selfish heart. It makes us happy and it makes others happy. It spreads from person to person, just like a fire spreads from tree to tree. Selfishness darkens the world, but the light of Jesus’ love brings brightness to everyone around.
The first chapter in the Bible mentions light many times. Can you find three verses with “light” in them? Job 22:28 tell where a light will shine when we obey God. King David wrote about light in the Psalms. The longest chapter in the Bible tells about God’s light. Read Psalm 119:105-130. John called Jesus the true Light. Read John 1:4-9.
Our Treasure Chest Verse is what Jesus told His disciples:
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14