Yeshua says: A strong city
built upon a high mountain
cannot be taken,
nor can it be hidden.

(Matthew 5:14-16)

How do I become “A strong city built upon a high mountain”?

When I think of “A strong city”, I think of a city that is well fortified. It has high walls, surrounded by a broad deep moat, and a strong draw bridge that can be quickly raised in the event of enemy attack.

This image does not fit well with Yeshua’s encouragement to his students in Saying 37 to

strip naked without being ashamed and trample your clothes underfoot
like little children

A fortified city built to resist the bad guys, certainly does not align with Jesus’ instruction to his followers to

not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. (Matthew 5:39)

Perhaps I should focus on that aspect of this strong city that is emphasized in Saying 32, rather than on those qualities of a strong city that I imagine. Yeshua describes the city as “A strong city built upon a high mountain” which cannot “be hidden.”

The emphasis here is on visibility. The city is strong because it is seen. This city has nothing to hide.

The writer of I John suggests,

if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another. (I John 1:7)

Light makes visible. When I “walk in the light” I have no secrets.

If there was one thing that disturbed Jesus more than anything it was hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is pretending. Hypocrites hide behind an external impression that does not correspond to an internal reality. Hypocrisy is weakness that depends upon dishonesty; it requires that I hide the true state of my inner life. It cannot survive in the revealing light of truth.

The person who lives “in the light” has nothing to hide. Transparency is the true source of strength. When my life is filled with light, I have nothing left to fear.

**********

Today I will intend to face those places in my life where I hide and will seek to live in the light, to be as honest about who I truly am as I can.