The Light of the World
IN THE BEGINNING, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty and dark, and the Spirit of God moved above the waters. Suddenly, the voice of God rang out in the darkness: “Light!” And light sprang into existence. God saw that the light was good, and He separated light and darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night,” and the evening and the morning were the first day.
Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote about the Light of the world:
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. (Isaiah 9:2) Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:1-3)
Light is a peculiar thing. Light makes it possible to see, and light makes things visible. Light travels quickly, much faster than our eyes can follow. When you turn on a light switch, the darkness doesn’t slowly dissipate; the darkness seems to be instantly gone as soon as the light is turned on. Jesus said:
I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12) If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him. (John 11:9-10) Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. (John 12:35-36) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19-21)
Light and darkness can’t exist in the same place at the same time. If you light even a tiny candle in the darkness, suddenly it isn’t dark any more. The darkness has fled away from the light of the candle flame.
Jesus is the True Light of the world, and He makes the darkness flee away. He shines in the world, lighting every place that He touches. The Apostle John wrote about Jesus:
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 any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (John 1:1-9) Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:8-11)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
God made the light shine at the beginning of the creation, and He makes the Light shine today so people will know of His glory in the face of Jesus Christ. We are clay jars with treasure inside—the shining Light of the Good News of Christ’s glory—to show that the excellent power is of God and not of us. Jesus, the Light of the World has shined into our hearts, making the darkness inside us flee away.