The Missionary Power of Christ's Disciples
Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Ye are the light of the world. Christ's disciples are light-bearers rather than light. Christ is, properly speaking, the Light; and Christ's disciples carry that light, in what they are, and what they do, and what they say.

I. CHRIST THE LIGHT. It was a dark world indeed when the light rose and streamed forth from Bethlehem (see Matthew 4:16; Luke 2:32; John 1:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 4:6).

1. Light reveals darkness. Illustrate effect of opening a window in a foul, dark dungeon. We use the expression, "I saw myself a sinner." The gospel light makes so impressive heathen darkness. Illustrate by heathen customs: Malagasy sprinkling the people; Chinese paper-money sent to the dead.

2. Light quickens any life there may be in the darkness. Illustrate by poem, "The ivy in a dungeon grew," etc. There are some germs of truth, even in dark heathen systems, and these the light of Christ is sure to quicken.

II. THE WORLD THE SPHERE. A. whole world lies in the darkness. A whole world is grasped in the Divine love. But we still need to learn the lesson of the descending sheet that was taught to St. Peter. Notice how unlimited the sphere of the natural light is. It is impartial; it is universal. It visits poor and rich. It tints alike the flowers of the palace garden and of the garret window in the dingy city street. As day shines over city, village, plain, and hill, over land and over sea, so would Christ, the Day, shine over all the world, bringing life and hope and salvation everywhere.

III. MEN THE LIGHT-BEARERS. Easterns did not use tables and chairs. They sat upon the floor; and therefore tall lamp-stands were required, in order that the light might be diffused over all the room. So God would have us be his atmosphere to carry his sunbeam; his candlestick, his lamp-stand, to lift up his light, so that all men might be brought unto him. There has been great difficulty in the way of securing the division of the electric light. But Christ, the Light, can be so divided that each of us can carry forth, and hold up, its full blaze. As lamp-stands, we can hold Christ the Light up, by

(1) Christly living;

(2) by loving commendations;

(3) by active efforts; and

(4) by the sympathy that strengthens all other light-bearers. - R.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

WEB: You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can't be hidden.

The Light of Christian Example
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