Matthew – Day 29 – Light
lease begin by reading the Shema out loud and continue trying to memorize it.
“Hear, O Israel. The LORD is our God. The LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Amen.”
Also, recite The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
In our study on Day 29, Jesus taught the disciples by comparing them to salt, an everyday object that had meaning in their lives. Today He compares them to another well known item.
Read Matthew 5:14-16 (out loud).
Light. The metaphor of light was used throughout the Jewish Bible. Let’s see if we can determine what the basic meaning was for light by reading some of these Old Testament scriptures.
First, read Exodus 13:21, Psalm 43:3, and Psalm 119:105 (out loud).
What was the purpose of the light? It was to guide the Israelites in the ways that God would have them go. It showed them which path would lead to the Presence of God. In the same way, Jesus said that His disciples were to be the light of the world – guiding people in the ways that God would have them go. Showing them the path to His Presence. Jesus encouraged His disciples not to hide their light, but to let it shine in front of men so that those who are lost can follow the light to Jesus.
We also find out in the Jewish Bible that there are people who rebel against the light. Read Job 24:13-17 (out loud).
People who reject the light, love the darkness. They find that they are comfortable doing their evil in the cover of darkness because they feel that no one will see them. Another way of looking at this symbolism from the Jewish Bible is that goodness is found in the light and evil is found in the darkness. Therefore, Jesus is saying to His disciples, “You are to be the goodness of the world.”
Finally, we find that both salt and light connect Jesus and His disciples to the eternal kingship of David.
Read 2 Chronicles 13:5 and 2 Chronicles 21:7 (out loud).
God gave the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt. This covenant promised that He would keep a light for David and his descendants forever, and that His Presence and His guidance would never leave them. Jesus explained to His disciples that they were now part of the fulfillment of this promise. Jesus, in a sense, was passing the torch – the light – saying now is your time to be grown up, mature, responsible. You are important to the Way, the Truth, and the Life being shown to others who do not know the way to God.
So once again we look to find ourselves in this story through self-examination. Are you the light of the world? Do you guide others to God? Are you the goodness of the world? Do you recognize that you are now the carrier of the torch – the fulfillment of the promise – or are you hiding your light? Are you rejecting the light and loving darkness?
I pray that your light burns brightly for all to see and that many are shown the way to God because of you.