February 13, 2015
No teaching in scripture gives more insight into the identity and work of Jesus Christ than His seven uses of “I Am.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Jesus referred to Himself as the light of the world shortly after a woman had been caught in a public scandalous affair. A crowd had gathered around her saying that according to the law she should be stoned immediately. Jesus, kneeling close to her and writing in the dirt, was quiet and His actions silenced the crowd. He broke the silence by asking the one who had no sin to cast the first stone, and then He continued writing in the dirt.
His soft words hit hard. Light exposes and dispels darkness. The light radiating from His words uncovered the sin hidden in each person in that mob. Each accuser immediately became conscious of his guilt and one by one they quietly walked away. “Woman, where are your accusers?” Jesus asked. “They are not here, Lord,” the woman answered. “Neither do I accuse you. Go and sin no more.”
Life comes from light. No light, no life. Recall John’s words in 1 John 1:5: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Jesus Christ as the light of the world is the giver of life. It was not mere chance that the first act of creation was light, and the Giver of that light was the second person of the trinity, the Lord Jesus Christ (Gen. 1:3). All living things – physical and spiritual – come from that light. John wrote, “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was light and the light was the life of men” (John 1:1-4). Wow!
Jesus again referred to Himself as the light of the world in John 9:5: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” A man who had been blind from birth had never seen the light of day or anyone. Strangely, Jesus spat on the ground and made a paste that He put on the man’s eyes. He then instructed the man to wash in the pool of Siloam. This meant that the man had to walk away from Christ and find the location. He did as he was instructed and was immediately given his sight. But Jesus was not there. He did not see the One who had healed him. He began to look for Christ. Don’t miss the reason for the miracle! He began to search for the One who had given him sight. He eventually found Christ and believed in Him (John 9:35-38). The lesson is clear for those who have eyes to see. The light of the world can remove spiritual blindness and give light and life. Wow!
Finally, note that Jesus said while He was in the world, He was the light of the world. He is no longer here in person. Does this mean there is no spiritual light in the world today? We find the answer in Jesus’s words in Matthew 5:14-16 and Paul’s words in Ephesians 5:8. Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Paul wrote, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Believers become the light bearers in the world today. We are to share the light of the gospel. Amazing!