14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
What is this “Light” mentioned here?
I believe that it is evidenced in the natural by the things people see us do and hear us say. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says this:
“Those about us must not only hear our good words, but see our good works; that they may be convinced that religion is more than a bare name, and that we do not only make a profession of it, but abide under the power of it”
So yes it is us – yet it is our Heavenly Father shining through us by the good words and deeds. The greatest care is that the glory goes to God and not us. Just as Jesus also told us to pray in secret and do good works in secret, not to be seen of men – so here, we will be seen, but that is not our goal. It’s a heart condition thing.
Maybe here’s an example I can use:
I choose to help my neighbor fix his car, because I know about such things and I want to help.
I do not do it for the thankfulness and praise that I may get from my neighbor, or anyone else for that matter.
I don’t tell everyone how I helped him even though it was really cold and nasty out on his driveway where we had to work.
I just do it because he needs the help and I am capable.
And my light shines – my neighbor is blessed – and maybe one day because my light shined into his life, he will want to know this God that I serve.
Again Matthew Henry says:
For what end our light must shine? —”That those who see your good works may be brought, not to glorify you (which was the things the Pharisees aimed at, and it spoiled all their performances), but to glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
So Saints – Let Your Lights Shine!