For Bible Study Nerds

For Bible Study Nerds


Matthew 5:13-16; Salt and Light (Word Study)

posted by Mike Nappa

It seems significant that, in Matthew 5:16, Jesus commanded his followers to “let your light shine before men.” Notice that Christ didn’t command people to “make your light shine before men,” or even to “ignite your light before men.”

The emphasis appears to be on our response to the light, not our manufacturing or maintenance of it.

The Greek text of Matthew 5:16 lends credence to this perspective. The word used for “let” is apolúō, and it means literally “to unbind” or “to let go free.” It was used in the context of releasing a prisoner from jail, or taking chains off a captive.

In the spiritual sense, the light of Christ that burns within us is a flame that cannot be extinguished. We did nothing to ignite it, we can’t make it brighter or dimmer—it already burns brighter and farther than we can perceive. But, if Jesus’ metaphor is accurate (and I believe it is), we can actively try to keep it captive, hiding his light of goodness from those around us, perhaps through inauthentic lifestyles or deliberate sinfulness.

Our job, then, is not to attempt to create light for Christ, nor to try to stoke greater intensity of his spiritual light. Instead, we are to let his light shine through us—to focus on living a transparent daily relationship with him that “lets go free” the warming light of his Spirit into our world.

 

Works Cited:

[NSC, 1566; CWD, 233]

 

ΩΩΩ

About: For Bible Study Nerds™

About: Mike Nappa

Copyright © 2014 to present by Nappaland Communications Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Previous Posts

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Historical Backgrounds)
The story of the “Woman with an Issue of Blood” is told in three of the four gospel accounts: Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-24, and Luke 8:40-53. In addition to Matthew’s details, Luke informs us that “no one could heal her” (Luke 8:43) and Mark adds “she had suffered a great deal under the

posted 12:00:50pm Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Factual Info)
The “Woman with an Issue of Blood” lived 12 years with a chronic uterine illness—but her physical suffering was not the worst part of her daily life. Here are the facts about what this woman most likely endured for more than a decade: She was probably in her mid to late twenties—a young

posted 12:00:49pm Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:18-26; A Dead Girl And A Sick Woman (Personality and Character Studies)
Matthew 9:18-26 reports how Jesus raised from death the daughter of a “ruler” in Israel. Matthew tells the story in passing, not even bothering to include the ruler’s name. From the corresponding reports in Mark 5:21-43 and Luke 8:40-56, though, we know the man’s name to be Jairus. Here

posted 12:00:48pm Feb. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:14-17; Jesus Questioned About Fasting (Symbolism)
“Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins…” (Matthew 9:17). When Jesus made this comparison statement, it was more than just an explanatory reference of common daily wisdom. In this little allegory, “new wine” represented Jesus himself, causing a conflation of Jewish history and

posted 12:00:59pm Feb. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Matthew 9:14-17; Jesus Questioned About Fasting (Cultural Commentary)
Christ’s culturalized references (in Matthew 9:14-17) to a bridegroom, cloth, and new wine all held spiritual significance, but the understanding of those symbols was grounded in the practical, commonsense life of an ancient Israelite. Consider these everyday insights from Bible historian, Craig S

posted 12:00:58pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.