Neither do men light a lamp, and put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:15-16 ASV
This passage sets forth instructions regarding the Christian’s light, or influence, in the world:
(1) Christ forbade hiding it under a bushel (Matthew 5:14), that is, permitting business and commerce to obscure one’s influence for the truth.
(2) He warned against hiding it under a vessel (Luke 8:16), that is, permitting cares, duties, and obligations of life to take precedence over faith.
(3) He prohibited hiding it under the bed of licentiousness, laziness, or idleness (Luke 8:16).
And, pray tell, what can this be?
It is nothing less than the church of Jesus Christ, namely, the local congregation.
Revelation 1:20 identifies the lampstands as the churches.
The “Let your light shine” command is to glorify God through an abundance of good works.
As the noted minister, Marshall Keeble, was often heard to say:
“The Bible does not say to MAKE your light shine, but it says to LET it shine!”
This, to be sure, forbids ostentation and boasting.
Origen against Celsus quoted this place and referred to the light of Christians as a “brilliant and unfading wisdom, … the very reflection of everlasting light,” and argued from this premise that Christians should not bow down before the sun, moon, or stars, seeing they themselves are light, and from the very same source!
Good works, from the very beginning, were considered to be a most necessary and primary requirement on the part of all who would truly follow Christ and would through him hope to have the abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom. For more: See Matthew 19:17.
Thus, Jesus concluded his analysis of the disciples’ relationship to the world, making them to be both salt and light.