The light of the world (Mt 5:14-5:14)

“You are

The light

Of the world!

A city built

On a hill

Cannot be hid.”


Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη·


This saying of Jesus can be found in John, chapter 8:12. The main difference is that here Matthew has Jesus say that his disciples are the light of the world (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “you are” (Ὑμεῖς ἐστε). However, in John, Jesus said that he was the light of the world (Ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου), “I am” (Ἐγώ εἰμι). That is quite a difference. Are the disciples the light of the world or is only Jesus who is the light of the world? Or are they both lights to the world. I assume that they both can be. The disciples of Jesus were both the salt of the earth and the light of the world, so that they were very important people. Matthew then added a unique phrase about a city set on or built on a hill that could not hide itself (οὐ δύναται πόλις κρυβῆναι ἐπάνω ὄρους κειμένη), as if to say that the disciples were like a city on a hill that could not be hidden. These are powerful words about the disciples of Jesus.

The revelation of God’s name (Ex 3:13-3:15)

“Then Moses said to God, ‘If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, `What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?’  God said to Moses, ‘YHWH, Yahweh, I am who I am.’  He said further, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, I am has sent me to you.’  God also said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the Israelites, Yahweh the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.  This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.’”

Moses was reluctant, since he asked what the name of the God of my ancestors was.  It is not clear what Moses knew about Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The response of God was ‘Yahweh, I am who I am,’ the God of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This will be his name forever.  Moses assumed that there were many gods, so he needed an explicit name.  Later philosophers were to explain this name as an indication of an always existing transcendental God.  Yahweh is the God of everlasting being or existence.