“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, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
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.
God intends light for direction. The “basket” spoken of here was a flour-box holding around 16 pints. A “lamp” was a clay container with a flax wick—often difficult to light and, hence, sometimes lit under a covering like a basket. But this minimized the light. Likewise, a lamp on a stand cast light farther than one on the floor. The purpose of a lamp, Jesus was saying, is to project light as far as possible.
In the same way,
The “same way” refers to the way light is put on a stand so all can see (v.15).
let your light shine before others,
The direction of Jesus’ light is towards others.
We do not make our light shine, we let it shine. The light is already there; all we need to do is release it.
so that they may see your good works
“So” points back to the previous phrase—let your light shine. The kind of light people see is in good works. There are two Greek words for “good”: (1) good of intrinsic value or good in quality, and (2) good in the sense of winsome, beautiful, attractive. The second word for good is used here in our verse.
and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
The ultimate purpose of creation is God-centeredness, not man-centeredness.
The purpose of being a light to the world is the glory of God.
Non-Christians reject light from Jesus because they love darkness more than light. The reason is they do not want to give up their sinful lifestyle.
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Jn 3:19
Christians once walked in that darkness but now they are reflective lights themselves. We reflect our Father as “children of the light.” When we live up to our linage, we reflect well on our Father—we give Him glory. This is the ultimate purpose of creation.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light Eph 5:8