14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
After Jesus tells the disciples they are the salt of the earth, today he tells them they are the "light of the world". Whereas salt flavors and preserves, light illuminates. Can you imagine how much chaos there would be if cars had no lights when driving at night? And this was what the world was like before Jesus came into the world. God created the light when he said, "Let there be light!" God said, "the light was good because it separated or divided the light and darkness". We might say without light there is only darkness.
In John 1, he explains that Jesus was the light from the beginning. Then states, "The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." So God created light to separate the darkness, and when Jesus came he separated light from darkness by His very presence. Jesus shined goodness everywhere he went, but those who were in darkness did understand him or accept him. They were like blind men groping in the darkness.
So what does it mean that we are the light of the world? In what sense do we acquire it?
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ.
So we see the source of our light is that God has made it shine in our hearts through Christ? We did not create the light in us, He did? There have been those, who call themselves Christian, who have said the light is already in us, we just need to stoke the light within us.
This is often found in what might be called Christian Universalism. Here is a brief definition of what it is, "Some today subscribe to Christian Universalism, which is the belief that all people are already saved from sin, or eventually will be saved from it, through the death of Jesus and the presence of His Spirit within. In other words, because the Light is within everyone, nobody will go to hell."
While this might sound comforting, it denies the basic doctrine of Sin and also denies who Jesus is and what he did for us on the cross. If we are not sinners, we don't need forgiveness. If we don't need forgiveness then Jesus really didn't have to die. You can see why this is completely antithetical to orthodox Christian beliefs regarding sin and salvation.
The bottom line for us as believers is we are called to walk in the light, as He is in the light. We are called to get out from under the lamp. We shine the light as we do the thhings Jesus called us to do. Our good works give God glory because it is the way we shine our light in the world. Many Christians sit in their "holy huddles" and complain, "ain't it awful out there". But as Christians we should be active in the world. Christians throughout history have built the greatest hospitals, created the best universities, and were instrumental in the abolition of slavery and other evils. The got out from under the bushel basket.
So as you can see we have a big role to play on our world. You have Light within you. God has made it shine in your hearts through faith in Christ. The only question is will you let it shine. Remember light shines greatest in the darkness!!!