Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
Christians are meant to be seen. Many of us would rather not be but God creates us as His banner proclaiming His existence, power and amazing grace. As we follow the precepts of Christ, following him by the power of the Holy Spirit, our lives become a beacon, a lighthouse that shows there is more in our lives than meets the eye.
But we can hide that light, put it under a basket. We do that when we retreat from the world, disengage from the people around us. The light is still there but it is confined by the walls of our Church or our comfortable protected lives of faith. This passage is a call to evangelism but not the spoken kind. The first evangelism is always evangelism of sight. It is evangelism of the eye. It is what can be seen in us.
This leaves us with an important question. Could someone come to know God and his truth simply by watching our lives? If someone wants to know Jesus could you say to them, "watch me"?
As an under-graduate, theologian/author D.A. Carson co-led an evangelistic Bible study. He confessed that whenever he felt out of his depths, he would take skeptics and doubters to a bold witness on campus named Dave. On one such occasion, a young man who was brought to Dave said, "I came from a family that doesn't believe in a literal resurrection and all that stuff. That's a bit much for us. But we're a fine family—a good, church-going family. We love each other, care for each other, and we do good in the community. We're a stable family. So what have you got that we don't have?"
Dave looked at the young man and said, "Watch me. Move in with me. I have an extra bed. Just follow me around. You see how I behave, what's important to me, what I do with my time, the way I talk. You watch me, and at the end of three months you tell me there's no difference."
The young man didn't take Dave up on that offer, but he did keep coming back to watch how Dave lived his Christian life. Eventually the young man came to Christ and went on to become a medical missionary. Carson concluded what he learned from Dave's challenge:
"A Christian is saying in effect: "I'm one poor beggar telling another poor beggar where there's bread. I drank deeply from the wellsprings of grace. God knows I need more of it. If you watch me you'll see some glimmerings of the Savior, and ultimately you'll want to fasten on him. Watch me."" [Van Morris, Mt. Washington, Kentucky; source: Based on D.A. Carson's sermon titled "Biblical Authority: The Exclusive Authority of Scripture for Faith and Practice" (2008)]
Prayer: Our Father, we are amazed by how You work in us changing us to be like You. Help us to radiate Your presence by our love to others. May others look at us and see You working in and through us. Thank you that we may participate in this great Gospel You have given us. In Jesus name, amen.