Aug 18 2014
Try telling a little kid they’re really good at doing something. You’ll usually get one of four reactions: they could ignore you. Or say, “I know!” Or say, “I don’t think so!” Or say, in a surprised tone, “I AM!?!?”
Here’s something that Jesus told us that seems wild…
You are the light of the world.
_Jesus, Matthew 5:14
It doesn’t feel like that to me very often. Previously in my life, I’ve just tuned out and ignored what Jesus said about being the light of the world.
At other times I’ve denied it and said, “Light of the world? I don’t think so.”
Occasionally, I’ve been shocked. “WAIT! You’re saying that _I_ am the light of the world? I am!?!?”
I want to leave these three reactions behind.
I hear what Jesus is saying, but I don’t know that I’ve ever internalized it.
I want to reach the place where Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” And somehow, I can say back, in a quiet, humble, confident tone, “I know.”
We ARE the light of the world. And thinking about that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t FEEL like the light of the world. I do a lot of really crappy stuff every day. How could I possibly be the light of the world?
It happens in the same way that we might say cars are fast. Technically, cars aren’t fast. They can’t move an inch on their own. They need fuel (gas or electric) to move. It’s the same with us and Jesus.
God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Two things about this. First, see that Christ is now IN us! He’s like our fuel. Somehow he lives inside us through the Holy Spirit. So it’s really Jesus who is the light inside us. We’re supposed to be walking around with his light in us.
Second, there are parts of our Christian life we CAN’T explain. Paul says here, “this mystery, which is Christ in you.” It was a mystery to Paul about how Jesus could be in us! He couldn’t fully explain it. And some things we can’t explain either. Not just because we may not be the best theological thinkers but because it CAN’T be fully understood.
This mystery stuff makes me personally uncomfortable sometimes. Because it’s the kind of thing a cult might say – “Hey, don’t question this. You can’t know. It’s a mystery.” But it can also be true that it’s so unbelievably complicated and incredible that we can’t understand. After all, there are a PHENOMENAL number of things we don’t understand about the universe and stars and planets and black holes and pretty much everything else around us. These are incredible mysteries.
I want to hear Jesus tell me I’m the light of the world and somehow say, “I know.” And then go and do great things in our world because I have the confidence that comes with shining.
We. Are the light of the world. May God make us bright.