Have you ever experienced a power outage in your home or place of employment? If you have, you would have realized that the darkness and the lack of electricity was the result of the power outage. So, it is natural that one’s first instinct is to find a source of light. Whether it be a flashlight or a candle, the goal is to eliminate the darkness so that you can see in the midst of the circumstances. Having a source of light allows you to maintain some sense of normalcy and the ability to move freely without stumbling.
In this world that we live in, there are plenty of examples that we can point to which show the darkness that surrounds us daily. Various forms of sin have now become acceptable and practiced openly. World leaders also exhibit levels of corruption and a lack of restraint which causes their citizenry to shrink back in fear over governmental oppression and poor leadership. Violence and tragedies seem to be an unfortunate part of our world culture. If one were solely focused on the daily and nightly news reports, then it would seem that darkness reigns over humanity.
However, darkness has an enemy, and that is anything that emits or radiates light. In John 8:12, Jesus says the following:
(NIV) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
At the beginning of John Chapter 8, we see Jesus being challenged by Pharisees. In verses 1-11 of this chapter, a woman who committed adultery was brought to Jesus by the Pharisees. The Pharisees attempted to use the Mosaic law (The law established during the time of Moses) to condemn the woman to death by stoning. However, Jesus instead does not condemn this woman, but tells her to go on her way, and not to sin again. This, of course, infuriated the Pharisees, but Jesus responded with what He said in verse 12, which is that He is the light of the world. What did Jesus mean by that statement?
If you look at Jesus Christ, He is the son of the living God. He is also God in the flesh according to Colossians 2:9 which says, (NLT) “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.” So, this means that because Jesus is indeed God in the flesh, He also contains the very power and majesty that God does. This can be translated to mean that God’s ability to enlighten all men unto His truth is in the very essence of Jesus Christ. So, when Jesus says that He is the light of the world, He is saying that He is the pathway out of darkness and that He gives direction.
In that same verse, Jesus says that whoever follows Him, will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. The great thing about God is, that He always gives humanity an opportunity to be free from sin and the darkness that we are surrounded by. It is because of humanity’s sinfulness and disobedience, that darkness looms over the world. However, when we are in Christ and we follow Him, we are no longer blind or in darkness. Instead, we are able to see through the darkness so that we have an uninhibited pathway.
So this means, that because Jesus is the light of the world, then we ourselves are also to carry His light into a dark and dying world. In Matthew 5:14, Jesus says, (NIV) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” If we choose to accept Christ’s sacrifice and to follow Him, then we are automatically agents of light in any dark place. That is because, upon salvation and spiritual development through prayer, worship and the reading of God’s word, we begin to gain the attributes of Christ.
It is important to also examine the terms, “darkness” and “light”. Why does Christ use these two terms? What do they represent? Starting with the term, “light”, it symbolizes the very deity and holiness of God which also includes Jesus Christ. John 1 says the following:
(NIV) John 1: 1-5:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Who is “the Word”? The Word is actually Jesus Christ. This scripture says that in Him or in God, was life and that life was the light of all mankind. What the Apostle John is saying here, is that in Christ, there is life because the life that is in Jesus Christ, is also in God Himself since Jesus is God in the flesh. So, the term light is meant to show forth life, and an illumination of God’s glory which one would not otherwise see in darkness or in sin. As this scripture also says, it is the light that shines in the darkness which means the glory of God that pierces anything that is considered to be “darkness”.
In addition to understanding the term, “light” we must understand what the term “darkness” means. What is “darkness”? In Ephesians 5:8 it says, (NIV) “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light” In this chapter, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church of Ephesus. He mentions in verses 3-5, various sins that Christians should not find themselves engaging in. Paul’s mission is to give admonishment to those in Ephesus to walk in love but to also walk in the ways of God.
Essentially, darkness means two things:
1. Sinfulness – To walk in darkness is to walk in sin. The sins that Paul encourages us not to participate in are, obscene talking, sexual immorality, any kind of impurity, greed, or coarse joking. Walking in darkness is to walk in an opposed view of what God expects of His people, which is that of holiness and separation.
2. Ignorance or blindness – Think of this as spiritual blindness. When one is in their sin, they are not aware of the damage that it does, nor do they understand the eternal implications. So, to be in darkness is the same as being in a position of unawareness.
The whole point of God sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins, was so that humanity could be enlightened and changed. The reason why there are so many instances of darkness and examples of bad behavior in our world, is because those who are in their sin have not accepted Christ. Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If not, you have an opportunity to be shown the pathway unto life. If you are in darkness, you are open to the consequences of your sin. However, Jesus came to shed a light to your dark path.
The thing about light and darkness is, they cannot co-exist. Jesus Christ shines the light for you and I, so that we can see the way that we ought to live. All of us who are Christians, we are to be the light of Christ to a dark and dying world. This is so others can see the beauty of God, and receive salvation. The light of the world is Jesus Christ. Take the time to accept His gift of salvation.