Jesus Is The Light Of The World
John 8:12 NASBS
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."
What did Jesus mean when he talked about walking in darkness or having the Light of life?
Incidentally, Jesus said those words during (or after) the Feast of Tabernacle, a week-long festival also known as Sukkot.
Each night during the festival, there would be a great ceremony called the ‘Illumination of the Temple’. This involved the ritual lighting of four golden oil-fed lamps in the Court of Women. These lamps were huge seventy-five feet high menorahs (candelabras). It served to remind the people of the pillar of fire that guided Israel on their journey in the wilderness after they left Egypt. The lamps would last through the night, and illuminate the city.
Using this opportunity, Jesus described himself as ‘the Light of the world’, because he is the personified word of God. When we read God’s words, we learn about God and imitate His character. God desires us to be like Him. The unbelieving Jews of that time, and even many now fail to recognise that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Old Testament, the embodiment of God’s truth, and the manifestation of His grace, all combined in one.
Humanity is made in the image of God and we have the capability of demonstrating the holy character of God though Jesus.
We live in a dark world that is rife with temptations. It is so easy for us to be misguided and lured into sin. We will not only have to face the consequences of our bad decisions, but suffer the results of others’ too. What’s even more scary is the eternal consequences of our iniquities. Jesus is our light in this darkness. His words show us the path through this darkness, following them brings us safely back to God.
If we turn away from Jesus, we turn off the light that God has provided us. We allow ourselves to be engulfed by the darkness around us again. If we claim to follow Jesus, we will read his words, and follow his commands. Jesus did not say that those who believe in him will not sin, we are all still far from perfect. However, his words will lead us and change us, giving us the strength to turn away from sins.
Do we rely on reading God’s words to light up our life? If we wonder how often we should read and apply God’s words, we should ask ourselves how often we switch on the light at night. The answer is obvious, we need to apply God’s words daily.
However, as John mentioned in the beginning of his gospel, there are many who profess to know Jesus but are unable to recognise him. Are we among them?
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. (John 1:9-10)
Andy is the head of compliance for an international bank and is happily married, with three daughters. He became a disciple of Christ three decades ago, and studies God's Word passionately. He desires to be constantly led by the Spirit. Andy joined the Central Christian Church in 1990.