Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
I’ve been reading the New Testament for over forty years. This saying of Jesus is recorded, variously, in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. I have probably read this saying at least one hundred times. . .
And every time I read it, my conscience is seared. . .
I have had the Light of Jesus’ Gospel for over forty years. . .but it has not shined before men.
I have not hid the light 100% of the time. But certainly I have hid it more than 99% of the time. More than 99.5% of the time.
I think of all the people I have been acquainted with over the decades. The vast, vast majority of them never knew I was an admirer of Jesus, and that I esteemed His gospel above all else.
Every time I read the saying of Jesus presented above, my conscience is seared as I admit how little I have displayed it.
It’s not that I would be ashamed if people knew I was a Jesus person, or that I was afraid people would think less of me if they knew I was a Jesus person. I don’t care what people think about me. . .
I wish it were that I was ashamed or fearful. It wouldn’t be more excusable, because it can’t be excused. But it would be more comprehensible. . .
For the plain truth is incomprehensible: I have the gospel of the Savior, and almost all the time I do nothing with it. I live as if there is no Kingdom of God. I live exactly as the people who are ignorant of the gospel of Jesus live.
I ask myself: why is this? I don’t have an answer. I can say that I don’t care enough about other people to illuminate them with the gospel of Jesus, and this is certainly true, but I can’t answer why I don’t care enough about them. Why am I reasonably content to just pass the time here waiting to die as if there is no Kingdom of God, as if there is no other way to live than the way unbelievers live? The way they live is not the right way to live, of that I have no doubt. The world goes about everything the wrong way, of that I have no doubt. And yet, as I said, I am reasonably content to go along, anyway.
And so when I read the saying above from Jesus, and must acknowledge the power and splendor of the gospel, and yet I can't be bothered about it, my conscience is seared as I contemplate the extraordinary labor Jesus undertook to bring His gospel to the world.
I can only hope this confession serves as an introduction to the gospel of Jesus to any who pass here. . .