Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
The ultimate purpose of the saint is to exalt and magnify the Sovereign! The word “witnesses” in Acts 1:8 means one who has information or knowledge; hence, one who can give information, bring to light or confirm anything. God declared; ye are “witnesses unto me.” In the Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus enlightens us to facts concerning our witness.
Within the text He magnifies the properties of the witness, “Ye are the light.” When Matthew uses the word “light”, it means light bearing. But this Greek word has a special connotation; it implies that it is never kindled and therefore never quenched. As those that have expressed faith in the complete and finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are no more darkness, but are now possessors and light bearer of an unquenchable light; “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). “God is light”, and as “children of light” we do not generate light or accept the responsibility for acquiring light; we are light! God made it so that the saint’s life and light are eternal in nature!
He magnifies the placement of the witness, “set on an hill . . . on a candlestick.” As the possessor of an eternal light, we are to occupy a place where we cannot be concealed, “cannot be hid.” The word “cannot” is an absolute negative making the act of concealing or hiding an absolute impossibility. Like a walled city that lies stretched out on a mountain lifted up above the plain, so it is the supernatural light of God that radiates to such a degree that it can be clearly seen from afar. As the possessor of an eternal light, we are to occupy a place where we cannot be covered, “Neither . . . put it under a bushel.” In spite of every effort of the world, the flesh, and the devil; the eternal light of God that radiates within the heart of the believer, will not accept a place beneath the cares of this life so as to limit visibility. Being “more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37), “we walk in the light, as he is in the light” (I John 1:7); bearing forth a light that cannot be smothered.
He magnifies the purpose of the witness, “light of the world . . . light unto all that are in the house.” The purpose of our properties and our placement is so that we might “giveth light unto all.” The is to be a beam of radiant brilliance shining forth! As a city we are to be the “light of the world.” Thus we are to be a light unto the foreigner; those that are at a distance from the light! As a candle we are to give “light unto all that are in the house.” Thus we are to be a light unto the familiar and family. The word “house” means place of abode or by implication, family. Here the light is in proximity to those is shines upon! Whether they are near or far; we have been placed so as to be seen by all!
He magnifies the product of the witness, “see your good works, and glorify your Father.” While it may appear to be an over simplification of the truth, proof of the light’s presence is good works! Activities that reveal a divine nature that convinces the observer that you have been born from above. Moved by the light in your life, they observer credits your Heavenly Father for the transformation by esteeming Him glorious and worthy of praise.
Possessing divine properties, the witness is divinely placed for a divine purpose of a divine product; “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). Ye are witnesses; are you getting the job done?