Jesus is talking about people being drawn in to see the light. If your light shining makes people cover their eyes, we have a problem. Our goal is to shine the glowing light of Jesus within us so that people will see his light…
16 “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a clay jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, they put it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.”
Lamps are meant to be seen. They meant to illuminate areas so that when people come in, they can see their surroundings. When Jesus spoke of his followers being the salt and light in the world, he was asking us to be like him. Make an impact in the world by shining into it, by flavouring the conversations and culture around us.
Who are the ‘those who come in’ in your life? Who are the people whose lives you can illuminate? Are you shining your light into their lives or hiding your light from them?
Maybe we should talk about light. Flashlights, floodlights, and clinical examination room lights do not provide the light Jesus is talking about here. Jesus is talking about people being drawn in to see the light. If your light shining makes people cover their eyes, we have a problem. Our goal is to shine the glowing light of Jesus within us so that people will see his light.
Hidden things will be disclosed and revealed. It’s interesting as readers of Jesus’ words to consider why anyone would want to hide their light. It doesn’t make sense, does it? If you have the amazing, glowing, fulfilling, life-changing light of Jesus in you, you would want to share that light. And yet, when we move from readers to carriers of the light, we can see differently. Carriers of the light often hide it, don’t they?
Followers of Christ – the carriers of his light – often hide their lamps. In certain contexts. When they realize their behaviour is hypocritical. To manage the perceptions of others. In order to project an image which will be better received in the world. People hide the light.
The reasons to hide your light are pretty much self-centred and they diminish the presence of Jesus in our lives and our spheres of influence. If we stop focusing on ourselves and focus on illuminating the world for Jesus, he’ll get the glory. People will come to know him.
Put your lamp on its stand.