Light is an essential part of life. We know that plants need light to live and grow. Light enables us to see things clearly. Shadows can play tricks on our eyes, but light pushes the shadows out of sight.
Today we will continue to explore some of Jesus’ most profound statements, which gives us insight into His character and nature through intentional metaphors. This is crucial to our faith because circumstances will attempt to discourage your faith.
Yet, when you know who Jesus is, this truth will alter your perspective and build up your confidence. If we have ever needed to have our confidence built up, it’s now.
Understanding who Jesus is will:
- Fuel our prayers.
- Comfort us in times of uncertainty.
- Assure us when fear creeps in.
- Guard our peace when chaos surrounds us.
In John 8:20-12 Jesus gives makes an intentional statement that would have struck a chord with His first-century listeners.
As Jesus is teaching in the Temple, the Feast of Tabernacles, one of Israel’s three biggest celebrations, is underway. Every able-bodied man was required to make the journey to Jerusalem for the occasion.
The Feast of Tabernacles carried two special meanings.
- #1 It was God’s provision, deliverance from slavery in Egypt.
- #2 It’s the start of God’s fulfillment to bring the people to the promised land.
As people converged on Jerusalem for this eight-day event, they would celebrate with singing, dancing, praying, reading from the Torah, and eating. People would live in make-shift-tents as a reminder of the journey from Egypt to the promised land.
One key element of this celebration was light.
When I was in Israel last year and visited Old Jerusalem, they had on display a HUGE four-foot menorah which would have been one of four that would be placed in the Temple during Jesus’ time.
These four Menorahs would light up the temple like it was daytime, and the glow of the temple could be seen for miles.
The inclusion of light commemorated how God led the people during the Exodus with a pillar of fire by night. Light has significant meaning in the Bible as it relates to God.
The Israelites were trained to sing, “The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid.” Psalm 27:1
“even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.” Psalm 139:12
“4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
Jesus’ statement in John 8:12 may sound poetic at best to us, but to the first-century Jewish man or women it was significant.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
This was a subtle but undeniable claim of His divinity as the One who gives light to the world. He says whoever follows Him will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
In John 1, Jesus is described as the word that was made flesh. “4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
Darkness can take on many different applications.
- It could mean we learn something that was previously unknown, when suddenly the “light bulb” turns on.
- It could be a difficult time in your past or present or looking ahead to difficulty in the future.
- Darkness could be circumstances that are overwhelming which causes you not to see things clearly.
- But most certainly, darkness is a reference to being blind by sin.
Do you know that you have a sin nature? You do. I do.
I need God’s forgiveness and His help to overcome my sinful nature. And the thing about light is that it’s revealing.
I’ve been following Jesus for over 33 years, and I have learned that the closer I get to God, the more I see I need to surrender and need His forgiveness. His light illuminates every crevice of my life.
Jesus reveals your sin not to judge you but to deliver you from it.
He wants to set you free so that you are no longer controlled by sin. He is the only one who can forgive your sin and set you free once and for all.
Jesus is the light of the world and everything becomes clearer when you are walking in the light!