The Light of the World
Each week since Thanksgiving, we have been asking the question, “What Child is This?”
Who is this child that was born so long ago in Bethlehem, that we celebrate each year on December 25th?
The Shepherds may say He is the Good Shepherd.
The Wise Men may say He is the Wisdom of God?
Mary may say He is God’s Compassion.
Joseph would say He is Jesus (God Saves), and Immanuel (God with us).
To many He is Hope. He is Love. He is Wonderful. He is Counselor. He is the Mighty God. The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace.
Light of the World
To John, He is the Light of the World.
Remember with me what the scriptures say...
“In the beginning was the Word”—the power of God and the wisdom, the reason behind all that is.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
He went on to create all other things, ending on the sixth and final day of His creative week with the creation of man.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
God was able to breathe life into man because...
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
And ever since creation,
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
What is it about light and darkness?
Around the world, light and darkness are used metaphorically.
Light - ideas, knowledge, insight , what is known
/ Darkness - lack of knowledge and insight, the unknown
Light - Direction
/ Darkness - directionless
Light - Hope and peace
/ Darkness - fear and anxiety
Light - Life
/ Darkness - death
Light - Joy
/ Darkness - despair
Light - good
/ Darkness - evil
I believe it goes back to the way God made things to be.
He created light, for us.
Light for living things to exist, grow, prosper.
He made us to live in the light. He wants us to see, to know, to understand, to have hope and peace, to know good.
In the Dark, we cannot see. We stumble and bumble around. We fall down. We lose our direction. We become fearful and lost.
God desires us to dwell in the light.
However, mankind chose to not dwell in the light and life God made for us. Men choose to walk away from God, who describes himself as
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
But, men chose to disobey God, leaving the light, and walking in darkness.
And as the number of men and women increased in the earth, so did darkness of their disobedience.
For we all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
And as the darkness grows, we find that
So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
However, God does not want us, His creation to have to grope about in the darkness. He does not want us to have to live in the darkness without true knowledge of Him, in the darkness of fear, in the darkness of depression, in the darkness of purposelessness, in the darkness of sin.
He has continued to shine into the darkness.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
He sent his prophets to let the world know about His light.
He went personally to men, like Enoch, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and more. He promised to send one who would bring light to the world in a special way. One ...
to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
He also promised to send one ahead of that light, John the Baptist...
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
And finally, He sent the Light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
The child born that night in Bethelem was the Light of the world. He came to those in darkness to set them free from the darkness of sin and death.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
Why would they not receive him?
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
But there were a few. There were some who saw the Light
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
How will we have the light and walk in the light of life?
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
What is the gospel? Gospel simply means good news.
The bad news is we all sin. We walk in darkness in this world. The punishment for our sin is ultimately death, separation from God in the Lake of Fire, a place of torment, and darkness for all eternity.
However, God so loved the world, that He sent His one and only son, Jesus, in this world, the true light to bring life to us.
He came into this world, and never sinned. He was perfect.
yet he took our sins on himself and died on the cross in our place. He took the punishment of us all.
Then, he rose again to everlasting life, conquering sin, and death and all darkenss associated with them.
He now offers light and life to all who will receive him, that is, those who will believe in Him. Believe he is the God who loved them, died for them, rose again, and promises to forgive and give new life, new light.
Do you believe this?
When you believe, you then receive Christ who comes and dwells within you. You now have the light within you.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light
And, having the light we now have true understanding, true hope, true joy, true peace, true freedom from sin and guilt, all the things of this world. We have a future and a hope for all eternity with him.
And in that new heaven and earth,
‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.