Light of the World
Jesus said He was the light of the world, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 NKJV).
These statements on the surface may seem to be light and cheery; something to put on a decorative poster or on a greeting card. Yet the underlying truth to this statement belies a dark truth—we live in a dark world. The evening news reports mostly on the darkness; a car-bombing, an outbreak of cholera in a third world country, a flu epidemic here, or another war there. DARKNESS!!
In the first few verses of Genesis (1:1-2 NKJV), we see a dark chaotic world. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. / The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
Over this darkness the Spirit of God hovered and then God the Creator speaks into this darkness, “‘Let there be light’; and there was light” (Genesis 1:3 NKJV). He said it was good and we take Him at His word because light is always better than darkness unless you are trying to hide.
God’s final created being, man, slipped-up and caused darkness to once again shadow the light. Sin brings death and death along with its co-conspirator sin is the essence of darkness.
There is a paradox prevalent in the world concerning light; with many who are caught up in the darkness, arrogantly think they have the answers of life and consider themselves the enlighten ones. They know better than the rest of us poor peasants and only, if we listen to them, the problems of the world would finally be solved. If it wasn’t sad it would be funny—those bound by darkness thinking themselves, the luminaries of the world—how blind they are to the true light.
Into this abyss of darkness, God sent His servants the prophets and fathers of faith who parted the curtain to let in some light yet the darkness remained. We became accustomed to the darkness and even embraced it. Many have profited from the darkness while so many succumbed to the darkness. The darkness became so prevalent there were times we could even feel the darkness. One of the plagues on Egypt was a darkness described as, “Darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt” (Exodus 10:21 NKJV).
Our children are often fearful of the natural darkness before they became accustomed to it. They never cry, “Turn out the light!” but cry, “Turn on the light!” They are afraid of something in the dark and we laugh at their immaturity and childish fear. Oh, but there is something in the dark, lurking in the shadows of our spiritual peripheral vision. The unseen reality of a spiritual world inhabited by agents of darkness we call demons kept at bay by the agents of light we call angels.
In the midst of this darkness, God sent His Son who proclaimed, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 NKJV). Jesus spoke of men who walked in darkness and shunned the light. Jesus lit up the world around Him. When He proclaimed “The Kingdom of God is at hand—He was saying the light is dispelling the darkness. When He healed someone, He was dispelling the darkness of disease. When He forgave a woman about to be stoned, He was dispelling the darkness of unmerciful religion. When He cast out the legions of demons from the demoniac, He was displacing darkness with His light.
Jesus readied His disciples for the continuation of His ministry of light, He proclaims, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14 NKJV). Some have erroneously likened our light as the reflection of His light—as the moon reflecting the light of our solar sun. We are actually light emitters because the source of light is in us; we are His luminaries in the world. He sends us into the dark world to give the illumination of the Kingdom of God. Where we go empowered by the Spirit of God, we dispel the darkness.
Light up the world! Light up your world!
MY PRAYER: Yes, Jesus You are the Light of the World and your light has illuminated my life to my need for you and for Your redemption glowing in me. The world is filled with the pain and despair of darkness and yet they are blind to the light. Continue to shine on them. It is hard for me to comprehend but I know it is true because you said it–I also am the light of the world. I am the light of the world as you said, not because of my glory but because of your glory in me that is then emitted into the world. Help me to shine Your glory and truth on a broken and dark world. In the Name of the Jesus. Amen.
Harry L. Whitt