Blazing Lamps: Matthew 5:14-16
““14) You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15) nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16) Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬
Jesus said His people are the light of the world in the same way that He was the light of the world. (See John 9:5) He intends for us to take His place and walk as children of light in an otherwise dark world. (See Ephesians 5:7-8) To the extent we allow the Holy Spirit to change our inner character to line up with the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12, we shine in the world.
To the extent we allow our sinful flesh to reign on the inner throne of our life, we hide the light. It is like an oil lamp placed under a bushel basket that obscures its light. What an insane waste of oil.
Very possibly He used the oil lamp as a picture of the Spirit Filled life which was about to be introduced after His resurrection. Oil is often a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
Oil lamps were placed in a central location to give light to all in the house. I remember days from my childhood before some homes had electricity, they were dependent on the oil lamp to luminate the living area.
Large public buildings actually had oil lines supplying oil to numerous lamps. It created a very real fire danger because the glow of the oil lamp comes from an actual small fire in the wick.
Jesus returned to this illustration in Matthew 25:1-13 when He used the ten virgins as an example of the end times. Five were foolish and took no oil for their lamps. Their fire went out! Make sure the fire in your spirit is blazing brighter and brighter as dark times approach.
He then painted a graphic picture of the Body of Christ. Our collective lamps should become like a city on a mountain side that cannot be hidden. The Greek word is actually mountain and not hill.
I confess, I like flying at night and looking down at the landscape. Every town and city can be clearly seen by the combined lights marking each home, buisness or street. The sight can be so inspiring that I often break into praise, prayer and intercession for a corresponding revival and awakening in the spiritual realm.
When pastoring a church, I would frequently schedule a night flight over my town and region just to burn the picture of my mission field into my mind. This helped me wrap my mind and spirit around my God given charge.
As God began enlarging my boarders, I started making bigger flights to add urgency to my prayers and unction to my spirit. I can now identify many of the key cities and towns in my state, the Midwest and beyond from the night sky.
I very literally now spend time praying over my region and much of the world from 5,000 to 40,000 ft above sea level. Those silver tubes with wings are amazing prayer closets and places for divine encounters both with people and with God.
From His heavenly vantage point, I can only imagine the heavenly scene of the spiritual realm Jesus constantly monitors on planet earth. I wonder if the children of light are shining brighter or dimmer in these times? I have ample evidence to argue both sides of the question, but the essential question comes down to your lamp and your walk with God. Is your personal lamp blazing for the glory of God?
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global