In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass. – Mt 5:16-18, TLV
I was not expecting to find Chanukah thoughts in the Besorah of Matthew, but chapter five has some important things to say about the Light of the World. We already saw on Three Lights that Yeshua told us that we are the Light of the World (Mt 5:14). Now the question comes to mind, what does that mean in practical terms for how I live my life. To understand the context of the statement, “You are the Light of the World,” we look at the verses of chapter five before and after that statement. It is preceded by the passage known as the Beatitudes and talk of persecution. Hmmm… now that is a Chanukah theme… But the verses after, those are the ones that shine the light on what being the Light means.
“…so that they might see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven…”
The shining of light involves us doing “good works.” Are you aware that the Hebrew word for “good works” is mitzvot and that it is the same word used for the commandments of Torah in a Jewish context? The picture Yeshua is painting is emphasized by the very next thing that he says.
“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets!”
There is no escaping the message here. We are to shine the Light to the World as we keep Torah, doing the good works that our Father has for us to do. As we love the L-rd our G-d with all our heart, soul, and strength (our very muchness) and love our neighbor as ourselves, we shine the light — Our Father has created us for this purpose! In Ephesians, we are specifically told that there are “good works” that He has planned for us to do.
For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which G-d prepared beforehand so we might walk in them. – Eph 2:10, TLV
What are the “good works” — the “good deeds” — that the Father has prepared beforehand for you to do? What is the Ruach, the Holy Spirit, writing on your heart as you are working out your salvation? The first thing that Antiochus forbade for the people of Israel was study of Torah; today we can rededicate ourselves to that very thing to thwart the enemy’s plans. Let us join together and seek the L-rd for what it is He wants us to walk in. In the words of another “chapter five,” this time from Ephesians, let’s try to learn what is pleasing to the L-rd and therefore walk in the Light.
For once you were darkness, but now in union with the L-rd you are light. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the L-rd.
– Eph 5:8-10, TLV