Light, it is such an interesting concept because it means so many things. In science it can’t be classified because it is a wave and a particle. In our language it is more than that and it is more then just the simple definitions provided by Webster. The dictionary defines light as “something that makes vision possible”, or to be more technical, “electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength that travels in a vacuum with a speed of about 186,281 miles per second; specifically: such radiation that is visible to the human eye.” Those are technical definitions of light, but the concept of light is so much more than that.
Let’s start by looking at that this morning what is light. For answers we’re going to look at what it means to us in our culture and what it meant in the Bible. When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” What did He mean? We’re going to look at a few of the concepts that He would have been referring to. First light represents truth. Think about it, when we think that there is confusion or a mistruth being told, we say that we are going to bring the truth to light.
Truth is one of the central theme’s of scripture. In John 8:31-32, Jesus says, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Setting you free is what the truth does. In a world with so many questions, and competing answers the only one that counts is the one that is true. People want to know about God, they want to know about meaning and purpose. So many people are willing to share their answer that matters is the one that is the truth anything else just leaves people looking for what the answers are all over again. We all need the truth. But there is on inconvenient thing about the truth and it has nothing to do with Al Gore, truth that doesn’t exclude is just an opinion. Either God is God or He isn’t. There is no room in the area of truth of God and Allah, God and Buddha, God and anything else. Either Jesus is the Messiah and the one who can save us or He isn’t. But when Jesus stepped out of the grave it proved every word that He said and in John 14:6, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Chapter 6: Jesus the Light of the World
Darkness of World
Have you ever walked in the dark and wished for a light so you could see? You didn’t know what dangers might be on either side of you, or in the path ahead. Maybe you weren’t even sure you were going in the right direction. It’s so easy to get lost in the dark.
Or perhaps you have spent a night in fear of some danger, known or unknown. How different everything seemed the next day in the bright, cheery sunshine! You can easily understand why the Bible uses darkness as a symbol of evil, error, uncertainty, trouble, and death. Light is a symbol of life, joy truth, and all that is good.
Darkness is the absence of light. The world was plunged into spiritual darkness the instant that sin separated Adam and Eve from God. Why? Because God is the source of light. Without Him we can only wander around in the dark – lost, not knowing where we are going. The Bible describes this condition:
Isaiah 59:2,9,10. Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither both justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes.
Ephesians 4:18. …whose minds are in the dark.
1 John 2:11. He who hates his brother is in the darkness; he walks in it, and he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has made him blind.
Light of God
God is light –– the source of all light. People are in spiritual darkness until they receive a special revelation of the light of God. That is why Jesus became the Light of the World; He came to give us God’s light –– to reveal to us God’s love and His will for us.
1 John 1:5. God is light and there is no darkness at all in Him.
John 1:4. The Word has life in Himself, and this life brought light to men.
Listen to Jesus’ words about Himself:
John 8:12. I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.
John 9:5. While I am in the world I am the light for the world.
It should not have surprised the people to hear Jesus call Himself the light of the world. The prophet Isaiah had predicted that the Messiah would come as the Light of God. Matthew quoted this Old Testament prophecy and said that it came true in Jesus:
Matthew 4:16. The people who live in darkness will see a great light! On those who live in the dark land of death the light will shine!
Light drives away darkness
Light drives away darkness.
Jesus, the light, drives out darkness. His presence in the heart drives out sin, guilt, and fear. His love drives out hatred. His light brings hope, assurance, comfort, and strength, to the soul.
Psalm 27:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Light is stronger than darkness. “All the darkness in the world can’t put out a single candle.” If you have Jesus in your life, the powers of evil around you and the dark experiences of life cannot put out His light. A Christian woman who had been sick for months and unable to leave her bed was always cheerful. Someone asked her how she could be so happy when she couldn’t even get out to see the sun. She said, “My room is dark but I have the Son in my heart.” Jesus was her inner source of spiritual light that drove away the gloom. He flooded her soul with sunshine.
John 1:5. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.
Micah 7:8. When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.
Light makes it possible for us to see things as they are. The only way we can know spiritual light that comes from God. We find this light in God’s written Word –– the Bible –– and in God’s living Word –– Jesus Christ. Jesus is the revealer and interpreter of life. He helps us understand God’s Word and shows us God’s way for us. He, Himself, is the way.
John 14:6. Jesus answered him: I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.
Jesus helps us see ourselves as we really are. In His perfect life and teachings, we see how far short we come of God’s standards for us. We see our sins, our pride, self-centeredness, and hidden motives. Jesus shows us our need of the forgiveness and new life that He offers us.
Jesus shows us what God is like and how He will meet our needs. In Jesus we see God’s love for us, His patience with us, and His provision for our salvation. He shows us how to receive God into our lives and enjoy His light forever.
2 Corinthians 4:6. The God who said, “Out of darkness the light shall shine!” is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts, to bring us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, shining in the face of Christ.
Hebrews 1:3. He shines with the brightness of God’s glory; He is the exact likeness of God’s own being.
Light is energy
Light is radiant energy. Scientists are learning more and more about the power of light radiating from the sun. Its energy is a tremendous source of power for human use. People can use it to heat their homes and operate their machines. But greatest of all is its effect on life and health. Many plants won’t grow in the shade. Sunlight kills many germs and contributes to our health and strength. Think of earth without the sun. No warmth. No life. No force to hold it in orbit. A frozen ball lost in a black sky, on its way to destruction.
What the sun is to the earth, Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, is to us. He brings life, warmth, health, energy, and power to those who accept Him. His power holds us in the right orbit. He heals our bodies and spirits. The light of life that Jesus gives is stronger than death. Like the plant bursting from the seed and rising to meet the sunlight, the dead who have followed Jesus will come out of the grave with a new body and rise to meet Him when He comes back to earth.
Malachi 4:2. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.
Light is impartial
Light is for everybody, everywhere. Just as the sun shines on the hilltop and in the valley, on the rich and the poor, on wise men and fools; so the light of Jesus shines for all the world, on both good and bad. Some people thought the Savior would be just for their nation. But God makes it plain that His light of salvation is for all the world.
John 1:9. This was the real light, the light that comes into the world and shines on all men.
Luke 1:78,79. For our God is merciful and tender; He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us, and shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.
A blind man sat by the roadside begging. He heard a crowd coming. He learned that Jesus was passing by and the crowd was with Him. The beggar had heard about Jesus’ power to heal. He cried out with a loud voice; “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” The people scolded him and told him to be quiet. They didn’t think Jesus had time to help a beggar. But Jesus has time and help for everyone who calls to Him. The beggar kept calling. Jesus stopped and had the beggar brought to Him. Jesus healed him.
Luke 18:43. At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God.
Life took on new meaning and new direction after the beggar met Jesus. His world of darkness turned to day. It didn’t matter what he had been. Where he had sat begging, how he had stumbled in the dark. Now he walked in the light –– no longer a blind beggar but a follower of Jesus the Light of the world!
Reaction to light
Some people don’t like Jesus and refuse to accept His light. They want to go ahead and live like they want to, have their own way, and not do what Jesus tells them to. When Jesus was on earth, some people hated Him because His teaching showed them what sinners they were. They wanted to put out the light, to kill Him. They fought against the gospel.
Jesus let them know that He has brought salvation for everyone. Whoever accepts Him will be saved. But those who refuse His light are condemning themselves to live and die in darkness.
John 3:19,20. This is how the judgment works; the light has come into the world, but men love the darkness rather than the light, because they do evil things. And anyone who does evil things hates the light and will not come to the light, because he does not want his evil deeds to be shown up.
Test your knowledge by taking a short quiz.
1. What is darkness?
a) A power in itself.
b) The absence of light.
c) A failure of sight.
2. What has brought spiritual darkness into the world?
b) The non-existence of spiritual light.
c) Sin that has separated man from God.
3. What bible verse tells us that God is light?
a) 1 John 1:5
b) John 3:16
c) Hebrews 12:1
4. Who said: “I am the light of the world?”
a) John the Baptist
5. According to John 8:12. What did Jesus say we would have if we follow Him?
a) A good life
b) The light of life
c) Many friends
6. What can drive fears, guilt, sin, hatred, resentment out of a person’s heart?
a) Positive thinking
c) Jesus presence in their life
7. Where can we find the truth about ourselves, God, and life? Choose two.
a) In the Bible
b) In the universe
c) In Jesus
8. According to 2 Corinthians 4:6, why did God make His light shine in our hearts?
a) Because He promised He would
b) To save us
c) to bring us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, shining in the face of Christ
9. According to 2 Corinthians 4:6, where does God make His light shine to bring us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory?
a) In the world
b) In our hearts
c) In darkness
10. In Hebrews 1:3. what light does Jesus shine with?
a) His light
b) the brightness of God’s glory
c) the light of the sun
11. What title of Jesus do we find in Malachi 4:2?
a) Lord of all
b) the Sun of righteousness
c) the Son of God
12. John 8:12 says that Jesus came to be
a) A man
c) the Light of the World
13. According to 1 John 1:7. What does Jesus blood do for us if we live in the light?
a) makes us clean from all our sins
b) keeps us in the light
c) extinguishes darkness