I Am The Light of the World

 Almost everyone—even those who don’t claim to believe in God—will agree that, Jesus Christ has been the most dominant figure in the history of western culture for almost 20 centuries.

If it were possible, with some sort of super magnet, to pull out of World History every scrap of metal bearing at least a trace of His name, how much would be left?  Obviously, Not Much!   Now it is just my personal opinion but I am convinced that if it were not for the coming of Christ into / our / his / world there would be no human civilization left standing. We would not be like Persepolis; we would not even be a Stone Age civilization.

Why is this so! Why is an itinerant preacher from a back water country who lived in the first century more significant than any other individual on planet earth? The reason is this: Jesus is the one and only Son of God.

A Little Background

When Jesus said, I am the Light of the World, the Jews were celebrating The Feast of Trumpets in a part of the Temple called The Court of The Women. That was the place in the temple beyond which a woman could not go.  On the opening night of this feast four large candelabras were lit in the Temple and some say they were so bright that they lit the entire city. Each candelabrum was said to be 75 feet tall with huge bowls at the top. Each bowl held 10 gallons of oil. The wicks were made from the old, no longer useable garments of the priests. These huge lights were meant to symbolize the pillar of fire by which God led the people through the wilderness….the Shekinah glory of God. Throughout the week these lights burned brightly as the wisest and holiest of Israel’s men danced before the Lord and sang songs of joy while the people watched and waited. The celebrations surrounding these candelabras both reminded the Israelites of the glory of God dwelling among them during the exodus….and the promise of God to send a future Light, the anointed One—the Messiah— into the world. When he would come he would release them from their darkness of bondage. This all continued until it’s culmination on the final day…when the lights would be extinguished as a reminder that God had not yet sent the Messiah.

Well, at this point, right after the candelabras were extinguished—in the Perfect Place…At The Perfect Time, right after the candelabras were put out and darkness filled the courtyard…Jesus stood up and said to that huge crowd of pious Jews, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” There couldn’t be a more spectacular way to say this—a more powerful time and place to declare exactly Who He was—Not “a light”  But “The Light”—the long-awaited Messiah of God.

Jesus Claimed Ten Times Over That He Is The Light Of The World.

In that statement He claimed to be God become flesh—and it’s no wonder the Pharisees and Scribes immediately understood what he was claiming because so much of the Bible uses this metaphor of light. Light is used throughout the Scriptures in connection with the Messiah.

Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great Light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a Light has shined.” This is continued in the New Testament.                                                                                           

Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist prophesied the coming of the Messiah when he said: “The Dayspring from on high has visited us. To give Light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,”(Luke 1:78-79) .Simeon  the ages took baby Jesus into his arms as He was dedicated at the temple he spoke of Him as, “A Light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel,” (Luke 2:32)

The sad reality is that the Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not comprehend it.” (John 1:5)

The Question I want us to consider is: What Does Light Do That  God Does?

The First Thing That Light Does That God Does is

Light Gives Life

Think about it. Light sets our biological clocks. It triggers in our brains the sensations of color. It  supplies the energy for things to grow. Without the light of the sun, plants die—and so would we if we didn’t get vitamin D in some other way. Light is literally a life-giving thing.

If you have a deck in your backyard long enough all the grass under it has died; simply because without Light plants die. Light gives life….and so does God. He alone gives meaningful life, eternal life! Life without him is mere existence; it is more like slow death than life! I think one of the reason thousands of books on Happiness are published each year is because too many people life is a dead end street. It’s hard to live when you think that life has no purpose.

When Christ comes into your life He more than just saves your soul, he saves your life. For the rest of your days He gives you a meaningful life to live. He said, ‘I am come that they might have Life and that they might have it more abundantly.’ As John says in the beginning of His gospel, “In Him was Life—and that life was the Light of men!”

 The Second Thing That Light Does That God Also Does is

                                     Light Reveals.

Light enables us to see things that were once hidden by the darkness. While darkness conceals light reveals. In a similar way Jesus the Light of The World shines the light of truth on our lives—and when He does we see things we were too spiritually blind to see before.

All through the gospels we see Jesus shining the light of truth on things that people never saw before.

For example, Jesus illuminated the fact to his people that being a Jew would not save them from the penalty of their sins. That they needed a relationship with Him, they needed to be born again. Unfortunately we find people who are blinded to that same truth today. Many say, “Of course I am a Christian. I was born a Christian!” or “I’m from a Christian family.” But, being a Christian has nothing to do with your pedigree.

 Think about it:  Playboy Hugh Hefner was raised in a minister’s home. Nietzsche the atheist was raised in a minister’s home, Joseph Stalin studied for the priesthood. Hitler’s mother was a practicing Roman Catholic and said as late as 1941, “… “I am now, as before, a Catholic and will always remain so.”  Mao Tse-tung was raised under missionary teaching.   One’s ancestry or lineage or blue blood heritage will not get you into Heaven. That is why Jesus said; “You Must be born again.”

Like an x-ray Jesus shines the light of truth on our lives so that we can see things in our life that otherwise we could never see.

The Third Thing That Light Does That God Also Does is

Light Guides.

Jesus said in John 8:12 “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.”

If you have ever been down in a coal mine or took a guided tour through some bat infested cave and stood frozen in the dark as they shut the lights out you quickly realize how alarming it would be to be lost with no light to guide you.

The Psalmist prayed: Send your light and your truth to guide me. Let them lead me to your house on your sacred mountain,” (Psalm 43:3 CEV).

As God guided Abraham’s footsteps, as God guided Israel though the wilderness, as He guided the shepherds, Wisemen, Joseph, Ananias, Peter … so he can guide you.

All these are biblical examples to remind us that as Isaiah 58:11 says,  “The Lord will Guide you continually.”

God is willing and able to guide every moment of your life and my life.  As we come to each intersection along the road of life He promises to point which way to go. We don’t have to wander in the darkness!

The Fourth Thing That Light Does That God Also Is

                                 Light Banishes Fear

This is good news because life on this fallen planet is full of things that cause us to fear: health problems, personal financial woes, family issues, layoffs, the national debt,  rogue nations getting nuclear warheads,  terrorism, a deadly flu virus, earthquakes, being sued, Medicare running out …—to name a few.

All this bad news can take its toll on you if you let it. Sure we live in an age of anxiety and there are no delete or even pause buttons we can push to make it go away.

But I for one do not plan to go into an embryonic position, crawl into a dark corner and start my hair the little bit that has remained on my whitened head. Nor am I going to move to Iceland and live in n underground fault.

I am trusting in the words of Jesus who said; “I am the Light of the World. As soon as the lights come back on in the cave all darkness and fear dispel.

I’m no Johnny Bravo but I do take comfort in the Light of His Word that says; “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid,” (Psalm 27:1)

Jesus dealt with fear very seriously! He came to tell us that we need no longer be afraid. In fact, His most command is some form of these two words: “Fear not!”  In the Gospels Jesus said it 125 times.

Here’s Some Examples:

  • Matthew 10:31 – “Do not be afraid. You are worth much more than many sparrows.”
  • Matthew 9:2 – “Take courage son; your sins are forgiven.”
  • Matthew 6:25 – “I tell you not to worry about every day life—whether you have enough.”
  • Matthew 14:27 and 28:20 – “Take courage! I am here! I will be with you always—even to the end of the world!”
  • Luke 12:32 – “Don’t fear, little flock. It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.”
  • John 14:1, 3 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in Me.”
  • Matthew 24:6 – “When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic.”

Be Blessed:

God Is Only A Prayer Away!

Pastor Bob