Why don’t they ever turn the lights on?

The Parables of Jesus

March 2, 2022

Matthew 5:14-16

“Why don’t they ever turn the lights on?”

My wife and I enjoy watching mystery movies. We watch many of them on Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, but we also watch mysteries on other channels.

One of the oddest things we find in many mystery movies is that almost no one ever turns on the lights when they enter their home or a room they’re checking out. So, when you see this happen, you know one thing for sure, something terrible is about to happen.

The other thing that happens when someone in the movie doesn’t turn the light on when entering a home or room, my wife and I always shout out, “Turn the light on!”

Would you walk into a dark room and just stand there looking for something or someone and not turn the light on? Of course not! Like myself, you would turn the light on, so you could see where you were going, you didn’t trip, and try and catch an intruder off guard.

When the light is on, people can see where they are and should be going.

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In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus makes precise statements concerning light.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Did you notice the first line of this parable? Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” Of course, we already know that He is the light in this world, but He explicitly tells us, as believers, that we are His light in this world.

Jesus also warns us not to hide our light. What do you think that means? It seems to me Jesus is saying not to withhold the gifts and life Jesus has given to you. How do we do that?

Well, we let our light shine before others. But, what exactly is our light?

In Galatians 5, the Apostle Paul differentiates between the acts of the flesh (world) and the Fruits of the Spirit.

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21

Obviously, if you live by the acts of the flesh (world), you are not shining Jesus’ light in the world. Therefore, we do not want to be examples or have people follow in the acts of the flesh.

Instead, we as Christians want others to see Christ’s light through us as we immerse ourselves in the Fruit of the Spirit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things, there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

These are the traits of Christ we must follow to be His light in this world. Within these fruits of the Spirit lies service to others, empathy, patience, and compassion.

Do you need to turn on the light switch? Don’t let your light be a mystery; let it shine for all the world to see, so others may know our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus. You have instructed us to be lights in this world for you. Help us show your Spirit of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in everything we do. May all the light we shine in the world always be to your glory and not ours. Amen.

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