Here in Israel, when you ask someone to explain a word or an idea, they don’t just give you more words. They give you a word picture. When Jesus was asked questions, he would often do the same. Consider the Sermon on the Mount. He uses so much metaphor and imagery. He gives his followers examples and I think it enhances their understanding of truth. For the next several posts, I want to show you all the imagery and metaphor that I have been able to soak up here in Israel. I want you all to see what I have seen in word pictures.
You are the light of the world! (Mt. 5:14).
While I was in Galilee, I got to stay with my class at a resort right on the Sea of Galilee. The first thing that I did there was go down and sit next to the sea. I have been memorizing the Sermon on the Mount and so I practiced there. The sky was cloudy, but the light from the sun streamed in through a few spots in the clouds and lit up the city of Tiberias. I came to Matthew 5:14-16, which says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see you good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” As I was saying the verses I was amazed that I was staring at the exact image that Jesus gave to his disciples. Tiberias is a city set on a hill. Light from heaven shone over it and made it visible and obvious to all who could see. Tiberias was seen, but not by its own power. The light could be traced back to heaven, giving glory to the Maker of heaven and earth. So, what does it mean to be the light of the world? It means to be like Tiberias, a city set on a hill that could not be hidden because the light that came from God made it visible to all men.