Jesus Christ: Light of the World
Dr. Valson Abraham
Lloyd Ogilvie, pastor and one-time Chaplain of the U.S. Senate, originally came from Scotland. One evening, in his native Scotland, he was walking outside without a flashlight. It grew dark. He tripped on a rock and fell down. He put his hand forward to push himself up and felt--nothing.
He could see nothing, but sensing danger, he stayed where he was until the dawn revealed himself at the edge of a ravine. One more step, and he would have fallen to his death. The presence of light can make all the difference between living and dying.
“Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path,” wrote the Psalmist. Maybe he had an experience like Lloyd Ogilvie’s, and it taught him deeper truths about life. Jesus Christ is the Word, we read in John 1. In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the World.”
We all face many kinds of situations in life where we operate in darkness. We don’t see where we are headed. We don’t know what to do. What we know is not adequate to move forward in the right way. We are not good enough for the situation. We have fears and doubts. We feel like victims of fate, of circumstances greater than we are. Other forces seem more powerful than we are. We want to do the right thing but do not have the power to do it. We don’t know what the future holds, or when death will claim us.
In all of these uncertainties that we all face during our lifetimes, Jesus tells us, He is the Light to our path, whatever that path may be.
In what ways is Jesus the Light? He tells us in John 8:
• He comes from the Father (God) (v. 18).
• He speaks with the authority of the Father (God) (v. 28).
• He is going to the Father (God) (v. 21, 27).
• He does or says nothing on His own, but everything comes from the Father (God) (v. 28).
• He always pleases the Father (God) (v. 29).
In other words, everything Jesus is and does He owes to God His Father.
What kind of God is Jesus talking about? He is talking about the God who is Light, in whom there is no darkness at all (John 1:5). God knows the end from the beginning, we are told in Isaiah 46:10. God is not bound by the same things that bind us. He lives in eternity, outside of time. He sees everything, He knows everything, He holds the entire universe in His hands. He doesn’t have to figure out anything. Nothing is impossible with Him.
He has already outsmarted the devil. He keeps all His promises. He cleans up our past, He deals with our present, He guides us into our future—when we let Him.
He is the One who knows us before creation, who knows each hair on our heads, who makes a way where there is no way, who overcomes evil in our lives with good.
He is the One who so loved the world that He sent Jesus to live among us to give us the eternal life experienced by God Himself.
In short, Jesus tells us that He does the works of God and speaks the word of God.
To me, this sounds like light in a very dark and often scary world. What other person can rightfully dare to make such vast claims about himself? What other person can claim a healing ministry like that of Jesus? What other person has overcome death like Jesus? What other person has transformed lives like Jesus? What other person answers prayers like Jesus? What other person can offer these things in a spirit of self-sacrificing love?
Who else has promised to destroy the works of the devil and demonstrated it by casting out demons? Today, many people in India can claim deliverance from the satanic possession and oppression, from addictions and strongholds when they put their trust in Jesus Christ. He intends to deliver the whole world from this darkness.
As the Light of the World, Jesus is not just a local deity. He is not a western god, or an eastern god, but God of the world. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is for every time and place.
But Jesus does not just want us to know Him as the Light of the World. He wants each of us to experience Him as the Light in our own lives. That means we must follow Him, not as an idea or teaching, but as a Person. He wants us to relate to Him as His original disciples related to Him—as friends, as members of His family in relationship of love and trust.
To many people, this seems an unthinkable impossibility, but Jesus Christ has made the way where there is no way. Through the centuries, millions have testified from experience this is true.
Jesus revealed to His disciples things about themselves they did not especially want to hear. He did this, not to tear them down but to remove the barriers that keep them from fulfilling their human natures. He enabled them to become more human, not less.
In so doing, they fulfilled their destinies—to reflect the very character of God Himself. He enabled them to do great and mighty things that blessed others and resonate in our own day. He wants to do the same in and through you and me.
Jesus came not as a light but as the Light--the Light that comes from the very One who made us and for Whom we were made.
As we remember His sacrificial death and resurrection this month, let us bear His Light into this darkened world waiting and longing for the Light.
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Father God, thank you for sending your Son as the Light of the world. Thank you for coming as my Light and Life. Fill me with your Light that I may confess you before others so that they may also glorify you as the true Light. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.