I am the light of the World – John 8:12
Let’s be honest, we have all been afraid of the dark at some point in our lives. Clinical Psychologist Alicia Clark said, “We are not as afraid of the dark as we are afraid of what is in the dark that we can’t see.”
That’s why this “I AM” declaration of Jesus is so powerful, …” I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
Jesus provides light where there is darkness like a flashlight or lantern, so we know we are not alone. Jesus also shines a light for us along the path of life, directing us as we go.
But there is so much more to this statement. We read in John’s introduction to the Gospel, “In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:4). The first few verses of John chapter 1 point us to Genesis 1 and in verse 3 we read, “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”
Jesus, the very source of light, said “Let there be light” at creation. Now, he’s saying it again, “Let there be light.” This time he’s depositing that light into us who believe.
During the second world war, the people in Britain would set lights out in the field so that the German bombers would bomb the lights in empty fields thinking they were hitting a factory or town. The light didn’t need a sign telling the pilots that they were there, they testified for themselves.
Light bears witness to itself, it tells you it is there, and Jesus told the Pharisees this in John 8:14. Jesus didn’t need another witness, he gave witness and God the Father gave witness to them through His word (see John 5:37-38).
How tragic that these experts in the Law did not even know their own Messiah as he stood before them! They claimed to know the Law of God, but they did not know the God of the Law. They did not have His Word abiding in their hearts. They saw the light of Jesus but did not acknowledge it or believe in him.
To be a follower of Jesus, is to believe in him, to submit to his lordship over your life and have the presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. As a result, we become Christ’s ambassadors, we become the lights of the world, representing Christ.
In the sermon on the mount, in Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples that they were the light of the world (see Matthew 5:14-16). The problem with many so called “Christians” is that they compartmentalize their lives. They are Sunday Christians, but during the week, they are far from Christ’s ambassadors. They do not shine the light of Christ before their co-workers or even their families.
You will not be able to shine the light of Christ to those around you unless you truly have an encounter with the living God.
In Exodus 34, we see that Moses’ face shone, it radiated light from spending forty days on top of mount Sinai in the presence of God when he received the law for the Children of Israel. You might say, “well, that is Moses, he was in the presence of God, naturally his face shone.” But those who are true followers of Jesus have an even better position with God. In Ephesians 2:6 we read, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”
We have to remember that we have the Holy Spirit, and we have the privilege to enter into the presence of God. That is why it is crucial to set aside a daily time with the Lord in prayer, and his word. As you do, the world notices, you shine because, like Moses, you have been with the Father. Does your life shine with the light of Christ? This is what Jesus was talking about in Matthew 5:14-16.
Jesus places his light into us who believe, and his light source is actually life. The light of Jesus in us is life that will keep us living for eternity. The light is also to be dispersed from us to produce good works that will bring glory to God.
What does John 8:12 mean for you today? “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
We all face darkness and uncertainty in our lives. In fact, the greatest epidemic in the world today is not COVID, it is fear. Fear and uncertainty are all around us. Just ask your neighbor or co-worker. The media fuels this and the marketing companies feed on this. They know that if they can tap into your fears, they can take advantage of you. Fear is formed in the darkness of uncertainty.
Jesus said, “…whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” John 8:12b. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus, but you are overwhelmed by fear and uncertainty, either you don’t know who you are in Christ or you aren’t a true follower of the one who is the light of the world.
Ephesians 5 we read, “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:13-14.
Allow the light of Christ to shine on you and through you to a lost and dying world.