We are to be like a “lamp” in someone’s home. Jesus says the obvious that no one will “light a candle” and “put it under a bushel (basket).” It is ridiculous to light a lamp and then hide it. The purpose of the lamp is to give “light to all that are in the house.” Covering it with a basket is contrary to its purpose.
Jesus encourages us to “Let your (our) light shine.” When we live openly and honestly for Jesus Christ, people will see a beauty in our lives. They will notice our courtesy, our smiles, our gratitude, our peace, our happiness, our help, etc… They will want to ask, “Why are you like that?” When you are in a dark place, all eyes focus on the light, even if it is just a little light.
When our light shines, people will “glorify your (our) Father in heaven.” We do not shine our lights for ourselves, but for the glory of God. In fact, let’s consider a story from Matthew 9. Jesus was a light for a man named Matthew.
As Jesus was leaving the city of Capernaum, He did a strange thing. He stepped into the “tax office” to speak with a man named Matthew. Obviously, Matthew (also called Levi) was a tax collector or a publican. He was one of the most hated members of Jewish society, a traitor to his people.
Tax collectors or publicans bought their jobs from the Roman government. They had the authority to collect taxes on everything. Notice that there are no sermons, no miracles but a simple invitation wrapped in a loving command, “Follow Me.” Notice from today’s verse that this caused a great problem.
Have you ever created a problem by telling someone else about Jesus?