Parables of Jesus: city on a hill

Matt.5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”
This is not a parable in the strictest sense. But in the imagery of a city set on a hill, allusion to Zion and eschatological significance of the holy Jerusalem no Bible student can escape its place. It is a parable in its role: comparing two parallel ideas on the basis of a metaphor is what the sense of the Greek word parabole carried we shall treat it as a parable. Every child of God is expected to be light of the world and a city set on a hill.
In the previous post we had discussed what the single eye represents. Glory of God as the Father of lights in context of man is represented by the faculty of vision. Thus eye represents man. The man who is adopted in Christ is a child of God; conversely one who rejects glory of His grace is characterized as body full of darkness.’If thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be evil (Matt.6:23).’ Eye as focused on the Redeemer Lord is like a prism casting light of the knowledge of the word so he need bring every aspect of his life to it. “If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no dark, the whole body shall be full of light….(Lk.11:36)”. It is in this context we can appreciate the difference the light makes if placed under a bushel or under bed. A child of God who has become light of the world cannot have the luxury of basking in it and not wanting to witness it before others. It is the question of economy. When the servant who received one talent hid it in the ground the Lord faulted him severely and took away even what he had given him. He was found an unprofitable servant and was cast into outer darkness (Matt.25:14-30). In wasting his Lord’s gift,- though comparatively one talent, his whole life would end up in hell.
It is in this context we need approach a hard saying of Jesus and it goes thus:”…If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out…for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell (Matt.5:29-30).” Interpreting it literally can lead one into wrong conclusions. Sin originates in your thought and getting rid of an eye shall not prevent from carnal thoughts coming in. It is impossible unless grace be given from high so such stray thoughts can be quickly got rid off. As St James says there are several stages from ‘when he(man) is drawn away of his lust, and enticed’ to committing actual adultery (Jas.1:14-15). Before we go back to the seemingly astounding assertion of Jesus let us read what a crucial role a small organ like our tongue plays. A tongue is a small organ but representing a far greater body of evidence that can either kindling the course of nature aflame or glorifying the grace of God. What we speak, be it idle word or bitter words it testifies against us (Matt:12:36-37). Like the one talent our eye or tongue shall be held up as evidence against us. Is it profitable for us then to let such a small member damn us to hell? Similarly the eye can create a world of iniquity or mold us into a city set on hell. (Jas.3:2-6)
Our inner man as represented by the eye benefits from the clearness when rightly used. The light that radiates is clear and gives light to all. It can shine like a city set on a hill. This life of witnessing is representation of the holy city of God to be revealed in eternity. There shall be no sun but the glory of the Lord God and of the Lamb makes it as unnecessary.
God has granted us life to be witness wherever we are placed. We witness in our body as representation of spiritual body that must manifest itself and as many members of a body we are being strengthened in our inner man by the indwelling Spirit. Study of the word is like spiritual food it needs. We are part of the church that would collectively be known as the Body of Christ.


About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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