“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
When God was announcing the birth of Jesus, the advent of Christ, the coming of the long-awaited Messiah promised all the way back in the Garden of Eden, He used these words:
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone. Isaiah 9:2
When John opens his gospel and speaks of the coming of Jesus, he says this:
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:5
John the Baptist was sent to “bear witness about the Light”. (John 1:6-8)
And, in one of the great “I am” statements from Jesus, He declared that He was the light of the world and that those who follow Him will have the light of life and not walk in darkness.
When we come to this attribute of God, we are not speaking of something minor nor trite. We acknowledge the physical reality that light is puzzling to us. Physicists can’t fully explain it. It is a wave, yet it is a particle. It appears to have mass, yet it cannot. It travels at speeds that nothing can travel and yet it doesn’t really travel at all. Just like gravity, we know it exists, and we are happy that it exists, but we don’t really understand it.
So, too, is the depth and mystery of the reality of the nature of God. And yet, He has revealed Himself to us as Light.
When the Scripture speaks of light, it is often spoken of in contrast to darkness. We find this in the very beginning of the creation narrative. God says, “Let there be light” and there was light. But then He separated the light from the darkness. In our passages so far, every one of them refers to Jesus being the Light, but it is given in contrast to darkness—a reference to the hopelessness of man trapped in the fallen world of sin.
Isaiah speaks of this as “deep darkness” and, indeed, it is. Anyone who has eyes to see and ears to hear in the times in which we live today are deeply aware of the depth of darkness that exists in our culture. This darkness comes from the deception of the “angel of light” who is not light but darkness. It pulls human souls into an ocean in which there is no shore, no rock upon which to stand, nothing but the overwhelming sense of being lost in a raging sea with nothing to grasp, sinking into nothingness with the terrifying dread of being drowned in its cold, inky mass.
And it is in this context that the Light of Christ comes into the world where people dwell in its deep darkness.
What does it mean that God is Light? We can only touch its surface.
He is pure and holy. There is no darkness in Him.
Nothing escapes His sight. He reveals everything that one thinks is hidden.
He is Truth and Righteousness.
Yet this Light brings hope and rescue, forgiveness and cleansing, mercy and grace and Life.
The Scripture reminds us of the extent of our depravity for it says that men love the darkness. And why do they love the darkness? Because their deeds are evil and they do not want them exposed. So, therefore, they hate the Light and do not want to come to the Light. (John 3:18-20)
This, dear Remnant, is manifested all around us today. It is not new. It should not cause us to lose hope. It is the reality that the world hates the Light and therefore those who bear that Light.
Jesus said that we, too, were the light of the world. Not because we are gods, but because He dwells within us and that we are to let our light (truth, righteousness, hope, grace, mercy, etc) shine before men in such a way that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Again, the words of Jesus: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
What a great promise to those who are in Christ! He is the Light and He has given us the Light of Life and we no longer walk in darkness. Even though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we are not walking in darkness. Even though we dwell in a land of deep darkness, we are not walking in darkness but in the Light.
Rejoice, dear Remnant! Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Verses to meditate upon this week:
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 7-9
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 1 Corinthians 11:14
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21
So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” John 12:35-36
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. John 12:46
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 1 John 2:8
And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:5
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone… For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Isaiah 9:2, 6-7