Jesus, the Light of the World
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life’” (John 8:12).
We can think about many metaphorical applications of the Light of Jesus. There is the glory, righteousness, purity, and life of the Father and the Son. In the literal sense, Jesus was also the source of physical light in our world, because in John 1:3 we read that Jesus was in the beginning with God and that “all things came into being through Him.” How does light relate to truth? In our daily, physical life, light helps us to see the truth of the objects around us. When we rise in the morning, we use light to see the path around objects within our home as we start our day. We use the light of day, or streetlights and headlights, to help us navigate our way safely as we drive through busy streets.
Darkness doesn’t remove physical objects, it simply hides them. Satan (and his followers) love darkness and want to hide the truth. If Satan can obscure the truth in darkness, he can steal from us the life that our Lord came to provide. Satan knows that if he can just get us to keep some darkness in our soul, that he has a chance to steal our life.
Simply being exposed to Jesus’ light on the outside doesn’t necessarily have an effect on men. Think about the thousands of people exposed to the radiance of Jesus during his ministry. So many people saw Him with their eyes, heard Him with their ears, and even touched Him with their hands, yet they walked away unaffected. These people did not understand Jesus and didn’t allow His light to penetrate their hearts (John 1:5). They were not willing to face the truth of their own sinful life. They loved darkness because they wanted to continue in their sins (John 3:19).
Are we letting the light of Jesus into our hearts daily? Is our spiritual eye clear, letting in light to our soul? Or is our eye dim, allowing darkness to reign in our hearts (Luke 11:33-36)? Are we willing to let the Light of Jesus show us the truth of our own lives? Are we willing to see the obstacles in our heart, things that will keep us from serving the Father? The most insidious lies are the ones that we begin to tell ourselves. “This one thing that I do is not as bad as what others do.” “I want to give up this habit for Jesus, but I just need to wait a little longer until I am stronger.” “I have a right to show my anger because that driver is unsafe and doesn’t know what they’re doing!” “I know that I need to be more faithful, but I’m just so busy now with school/work/whatever.” Are we justifying our actions? Little by little, we begin carving out places of darkness in our soul. Then we don’t want to be reminded of these dark places, so we start to let in less and less light. We stop reading and meditating on the Word as we should. We stop participating in Bible class and worship. We stop fellowshipping with our brothers and sisters.
Are we letting our light shine to others in the world today (Matt 5:16)? Would we sit idly by as we watch a blind person, alone, trying to walk through a busy parking lot with no assistance? Surely we would immediately run to their aid, serving as their “light”, helping them safely avoid obstacles to reach their destination. Jesus showed the apostles and others what it looked like to be a servant, what it meant to show compassion, basically what “light in action” looked like. Jesus came the first time not to judge, though He will be our judge when He comes again. So if our Lord did not judge, how is it that we can put ourselves in the place of judging others? Do we let our judgment of others stand in the way of letting our light shine? Of course we must know how to judge righteous judgement (John 7:24), but that means not judging by appearance only. How can we get beyond the “appearance” of someone if we don’t try to first get to know them? How do we rationalize not taking (or making) an opportunity to introduce something about God in our conversations with others? How can we show anger to strangers instead of showing our compassion? How do we rationalize letting all of those lost souls around us continue to walk in darkness, blind to the death that awaits them?
Brethren, let us strive each day to open our eyes wide to the truth of light, flooding our souls with the effulgence of the glory of our Lord, and reflecting that light to everyone around us.