Jesus word of light: A City on a Hill
Light is a very common metaphor in the Bible. Light and Dark are often used to contrast knowledge and ignorance. The world is “in the dark” about God, but Christians “turn on the lights.”
John 8:12 records Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus being “the light,” made himself visible. His full glory had been hidden in its completeness behind heaven’s tapestry, and choosing to give up lap-and-luxury, Jesus joined our suffering. Who would do such a thing? I mean, why would anyone choose to give up perfection and walk alongside all those broken by imperfection?
Not only did Jesus accomplish this outlandish task in order to free us from the tyranny of our sin, but he also named us as the light. He told believers that; “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
We need light to be visible everywhere because darkness is everywhere. Businesses enslave people everyday in rhythms of overwork, while blatantly disregarding God’s freedom found in rest. Politics enslave people everyday in division rather than unity. Educational facilities today are aiming to undo people’s beliefs in God; the media and the arts are promoting agendas that only further encourage pride rather than to explore true humility, and families are becoming centers for loneliness, divorce, discord, abuse, and more.
The orphan is not just in Africa, but is there right in our own families, classrooms, cars, and cubicles. Oppression and injustice are not just in the places of social injustice that Hollywood makes “sexy,” but the needs of the widow and the hurting are right in front of us.
We need to be visible. We need to see the need, and instead of avoiding it or placating it, we need to step into darkness. Most of us don’t welcome more suffering into our lives because we have no margin. We haven’t obeyed Jesus’ command to be visible alongside people suffering because we haven’t obeyed his first command to “cast all our cares upon him.” We walk around maxed-out with our own suffering because we won’t let Jesus free us, and therefore we can’t care for anyone else.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1 Peter 5:5-8 KJV
Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God. Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day. But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work. But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith. And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.
1 Timothy 5:3-16 KJV