THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
(John 8:12; 9:5)
One of the most famous illustrations that the word of God uses to show the difference between righteousness and unrighteousness, between good and evil, between truth and error, is the difference between light and darkness. The Gospel of John especially uses this picture. In it, Christ's life is called "the light of men" (1:4), and His light is said to have shined "in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not" (vs. 5). The Lord Jesus Christ is called "the Light," (vs. 7,8,9) who "lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (vs. 9). He didn't come just to enlighten the elect." In (Jn. 8:12 and 9:5), Jesus calls Himself "The light of the world."
Whenever the Bible uses Any illustration, and particularly an illustration such as this one that is used so often, we'd better expect it to say a lot more than can be gleaned from just the casual glance.
There are several things that we can learn about the Lord Jesus Christ through studying something about the thing that He called Himself - light.
I. THE POWER OF LIGHT
A. Light is a powerful provider
Light is energy-pure energy. The greatest natural source of light is the sun. Jesus Christ is called "the Sun of righteousness" (Mal. 4:2), and just as the sun's light is the physical source of our energy, Jesus Christ is the true source of our spiritual energy.
Whatever we eat ultimately comes from the energy of the sun's light. Green plants, through photosynthesis, convert light energy into stored energy. When we eat the plant, we are consuming energy that was once light.
We cannot escape the power and energy of light, just as the power of Jesus Christ is the thing which keeps all things together (Col. 1:17; Rom. 11:36) and the power that gives us the ability to be what we spiritually can be (Eph. 3:16, 6:10; Phil. 4:19; Col. 1:11).
Light travels at approximately 3 x 108 meters per second. Nothing in our experience can move faster. It is the universal, absolute standard of speed. Einstein, in fact, postulated that everything—even time itself—is relative to only one existing constant: the speed of light.
Jesus Christ is the absolute standard by which all other things are measured (Acts 17:31). He never changes His character (Heb. 13:8). It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for anything that comes from His mouth to be annulled, changed, or altered (Matt. 5:18, 24:35) - and even time itself is subject to Jesus Christ, He was alive before there was time (John 1:1), and He will be alive when the new heavens and new earth are made (Rev. 21:6).
When Jesus wants something done, nothing can slow Him down; nothing can hinder Him from the execution of His plan (Matt. 28:18).
II. THE "PROBLEM" OF LIGHT
It is very difficult to explain or fully understand exactly what light is. This is because light has a dual nature.
For 300 years, there have been fierce arguments in the scientific community whether light was a particle or a wave. Presently, scientific dogma says that is both - even though scientists readily admit that this is "impossible." They shrug their shoulders and call it a "wave" when it does what a wave is expected to do, and they call it a "particle" when it does what a particle is expected to do. According to all the present evidence, fight is not part particle and part wave (or a particle moving in a wave like pattern, as many falsely imagine), but it is all wave and all particle, all at the same time.
Jesus Christ is all God and all man. He is proclaimed to be God (Isa. 9:6; Jn. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:16; Tit. 1:3; Heb. 1:8), and yet we know that He is all man (I Tim. 2:4). He tried (Jn. 4:6), He wept (Jn. 11:35), He thirsted (Jn. 19:28), and He was "in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Heb. 4:15).
III. THE PURPOSE OF LIGHT
Light is that which makes manifest. Obviously, if it were not for light, nothing could be seen. Light shows things for what they really are. Light never lies. If there is a scratch in the paint, light will show it. If there is an imperfection in a diamond, light will manifest it.
A. Light manifests sin for what it is.
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light" WHY? "because their deeds were evil" (Jn. 3:19). One reason that the world doesn't love Jesus Christ is because He, as the Light, shows people that their sin is hopeless, wicked, and unprofitable. The "angel of light," the devil (2 Cor. 11:14) tries to glorify sin, but this is a counterfeit light. The true Light tells the truth about sin.
B. Light manifests God for Who He is.
Jesus bore witness of the Father (Jn. 1:18; 148,9; 17:26) and Himself (Jn 8:18). He manifested God and God's character to us.
C. Light, because it manifests, dissolves our unfounded fears.
There is nothing more terrifying than not knowing what is scaring you. Being in the dark is the worst. If you see something fearful, at least you know how to deal with it. But when you are in darkness, that is fear.
Jesus Christ scatters all of our illegitimate fears with His glorious light. He tells us that we do need to fear-we need to fear God (Luke 12:5), but if we have that mastered, we will fear very little else, and will live a joyful life (Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:22; Phil. 1:4,25; 1 Pet. 5:7- 1 Jn. 4:18).
D. Light makes it possible to work.
In the context of Jesus' proclamation that He is the light of the world (Jn. 9:5) comes the statement, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is yet day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (vs. 4).
Without Light, it is virtually impossible to do any kind of profitable work. Without Christ, service to God is meaningless, and in vain (2 Cor. 13:5). Works without Jesus Christ is as much vanity and worthlessness as trying to paint a picture in absolute darkness. With the light, however, all labor is worthwhile. You can see what you are doing. You can work what God has asked you to work without frustration, knowing "that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
Wouldn't it be nice if we Catholics
saw the LIGHT that is found in the Holy Eucharist?
of the elements of Holy MASS into Christ's Body and Blood,
Does this equation describe to a T
what happens at the consecration?
the antithesis of the Eucharist?
Mike Rizzio, SOLT
Become like Jesus
Live for the Triune God
Seek the Light of Our Lord Jesus Christ
See you on the High Ground!
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