I love light. I can’t stand to work in darkness, or even a partly dark room. For a job that requires as much reading as a pastor’s position, light is absolutely essential. But light is essential for life itself. Plants do not grow without it, and people can do nothing without it. Sinclair Ferguson tells the story of one night spent in Canada far away from any city. It was a cloudy night. As a result he could not see his hand even if held right in front of his eyes. It was truly pitch-black.

When Jesus says that we are the light of the world, He is saying that we are a reflected light. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world” in John 8:12 and 9:5. If Jesus is the Sun, then we are the moon, reflecting the light of Jesus. The moon reflects the light of the sun. Just as one cannot look directly at Jesus’ glory and live (in this already/not yet time period), so also one cannot look directly at the sun and keep one’s vision. However, one can look at the moon. Its light waxes and wanes, but it retains its light, except for the new moon (okay, the analogy doesn’t fit entirely). One can know what the sun does by looking at the moon. So also, the world is to see what Jesus’ light looks like by looking at us. We should be shining brightly, as at the full moon.

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