What Does it Mean to be a Light?

“Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness. So if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it in darkness, you will be radiant, as though a lamp were shining on you.”  -Jesus

The image above is a tabletop sculpture by Israeli artist Liat Livni. It is a model for a larger scale piece that she plans to build in the near future. This meticulous artwork is made up of 330 hand-cut layers of veneer that form the figure of the artist. At the top of the body, there is a flashing light similar to that of a real lighthouse. This inspiring piece reminded me of these powerful words, “You are the light of the world.” “Let your light shine.” and, “I have made you a light for the Gentiles.” As spiritual lighthouses, we should readily recognize who said them. They belong to Him who is the Light of salvation, the One who spoke light itself into existence; our Savior Jesus Christ. But what exactly did Jesus mean when He said that we are to be a light?

I do not have or ever had any tattoos on my body. I never wanted one to be honest. Besides, I have my reservations about the safety of inking one’s skin. However, I don’t criticize or judge those who do. In fact, I have seen and admired some pretty amazing tattoos, especially of lighthouses!

As much as these permanent beacons can attract people with their “light,” I’m pretty sure that is not what Jesus meant when He said we were to let our light shine. Mainly because as a Jew, He would have followed the law which prohibited Israel from putting any printed markings upon their skin (Leviticus 19:28).

My family has never celebrated Halloween either. Even though it has been modernized, its customs still celebrate false beliefs about the dead and spirit beings. For that reason, my personal conviction has been to not take part of this seemingly “safe” celebration. But again, I do not criticize or judge those who do. In fact, I am also fascinated by the creativity in some of the costumes fashioned on that day, especially if they are of lighthouses!


Walking around in one of these would also appear to be an effective way to “shine,” especially during the “dark” nights of October 31st. But, I am also convinced that this was not what Jesus meant when he said that we are to be the light of the world.  Mainly because as God himself, He would have denounced any form of celebration that glamorized the spirit world even if it involved wearing cute little costumes (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

And how about wearing a string light suit for work? Or holding a self-lighting bulb when shopping? Or how about using a headband light at school? Couldn’t we use these to be a light for Jesus? 


Well we could, but again I am certain that Jesus was not referring to this form of illumination either. He was quite clear in stating that such a light must be found within us, Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness.” And we all know that that doesn’t mean a literal internal glow.  After all, we were not created with the bioluminescent capabilities of the firefly or the glowing jellyfish.

Science GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Jellyfish GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

To better understand what Jesus meant by saying that we are to be a light, we must first understand the purpose and effects of light. Light reveals objects that would otherwise be hidden or undisclosed. It allows our eyes to perceive their shape and form so that our brains can interpret the image and help us recognize its worth, whether good or bad. It also allows us to physically move with a sense of direction and with caution if needed. In short, light drives away darkness. Likewise, the light that Jesus refers to is a light that reveals the hidden and undisclosed plans of our enemy, the devil, to destroy us. It allows us to recognize (discern) that which is of God and what isn’t. It also guides us through the path of life and warns of spiritual dangers. Then, we must also realize that this light is supernatural (Read, His Light is Our Light). It represents Christ’s righteousness, holiness, and eternal grace operating in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. By having the light of Christ in us we can reflect it back into the world. So, to be a light means that…

  1. Our thoughts and our words are seasoned with grace so that we can bless those around us, especially those who curse us. 
  2. We are able to see beyond the faults and weaknesses of others, including our enemies, and love them just as Christ loves us.
  3. We can perform good works out of a genuine compassion for people and in gratitude to Him who has been more than compassionate with us.
  4. We strive to live holy (separated) lives in an unrestrained immoral world.
  5. We can stand firm when facing temptation and other adversities.
  6. We are empowered to share the Good news of God’s salvation (the Gospel) with boldness and assurance so that others may also see His light. 

Above all else, it means that we are part of His kingdom and therefore partakers of His divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4). This enables us to overcome sin and live a life of true peace, love and joy with Him, ourselves, and others. Remember, this light is not of this world and nothing or no one on earth can provide it. It belongs to and comes from the Almighty Creator who deposits it in the hearts and minds of those who come to Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Considering what being a light is all about, are you a light? If not, would you like to become a lighthouse for God? If so, I invite you to Follow this link and allow His light into your heart today. 

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I can’t imagine that you would allow me to carry your eternal light within me. The light that not only rescued me from this dark and sinful world but also guides me to and keeps me in your very presence. You have graciously given me this light so that I may share it with others. Use me in any capacity so that I may shine brightly and draw others unto you. In your precious name I pray, amen. 

“Be careful, then, that the light within you is not darkness. So if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it in darkness, you will be radiant, as though a lamp were shining on you.”  -Luke 11:35
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:14
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
“For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” – Acts 13:47
“‘Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD. -Leviticus 19:28
“There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. “For whoever does these things is detestable to the LORD; and because of these detestable things the LORDyour God will drive them out before you.” -Deuteronomy 18:10-12
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4

8 thoughts on “What Does it Mean to be a Light?

  1. I especially love this quote, “Remember, this light is not of this world and nothing or no one on earth can provide it. It belongs to and comes from the Almighty Creator who deposits it in the hearts and minds of those who come to Him through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.” Many times we forget that the light must come from above and within as we surrender and ask the Lord to make us a lighthouse so that others may be saved. I love how you express yourself on paper. So proud of you my sweetheart, love your wife, Mari.


  2. Thank you for your wise and entertaining post! We don’t celebrate Halloween, but we do use the opportunity to hand out children’s Christian tracts when kids come to the door–along with candy. Children can also take tracts around when they go door-to-door. Receive the candy and offer them a “treat” as well–the gospel message, the light of the world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kathleen. As a children minister, I too believe we can take advantage of what the enemy uses for evil and turn it around against him. No other night draws so many children out in the streets at the same time. So we too take advantage of the unholiday and offer campfire roasted marshmallows with hot chocolate in front of our church property. We also give out blessings bags with snacks, gloves, and church information.;-)


    • Thank you, Tanya. The truth is that my kids loved to dress up. So I made a costume trunk for them, which I still have somewhere in the attic. Wow, I can’t believe that was 15 years ago! They dressed up all year round. So, when Haloween came not only did they not care for it, but were tired of dressing up anyway. LOL Thanks again for your encouraging words. May we continue to shine His light each and every day!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s