In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16
Scripture reading: Matthew 5:13-16
To understand the mission of the church, we must continue to trace the line of God’s mission throughout Scripture. The Bible is a big book and so the big picture of the whole story can be difficult to hold in our minds all at once. But it’s essential to do so if we are going to understand and feel and experience the drama of who we are called to be as the church today.
Let’s recall the flow of the story: God promised Abraham in Genesis 12 that He would bless all the nations through his family. Israel, therefore, was called to live before the nations as a light to the nations. But Israel failed at that task and in exile waited for the Messiah Who would bring the promised Kingdom.
When Jesus came, He did so as the true and faithful Israelite, the true Son of Abraham. Jesus was the true light of the world, the fulfillment of Israel’s calling. Does that mean there is no longer a need for light in the word? Here is where we must hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 5: “You are the light of the world. ”
Jesus has fulfilled Israel’s calling and then given that same calling to His church. As Israel was called to be, as Jesus was perfectly, so we are called to be until His return: the light of the world.
Suggestions for prayer
Praise God for the light that Jesus brings and then pray that He would enable us to be a light to those around us.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.