Day 29 Lent 2016

I am the Light of the World

from the Lent 2016 reading plan


John 8:12, 9:1-7, John 1:1-18, Genesis 1:1-5

BY Caleb Faires

This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.

I have a dear friend who, some years ago, walked away from the faith. Looking back on the months leading up to his departure, I think I knew it was coming. I recall the increasing rift in our conversations. Today, he is quite open about his opposition to Christ. He is glad to be “free” of Him. I think, more than my friend knows, I understand the temptation to faithlessness, because I am, like every other man I’ve ever met, fallen.

If we’re totally honest, that old man, that body of sin and death, still clings to us. We, too, struggle against the appeal of the flesh that tells us we’d be better off if we were “free” of Christ. It doesn’t take much to drift. A little spiritual neglect, a little distraction from prayer, a little break from reading the Word, and we can quickly find ourselves wandering. But, unlike my lost friend, I do not enjoy this “freedom.” Its appeal is thin and short-lived. When my eyes drift from Christ, they see only darkness. 

Apart from Christ, there is no light. Jesus declared: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

This is a remarkable promise. Indeed, Christ’s light is not merely metaphorical. It is tremendously potent and tangible. Christ, the Light of the world, gives life (John 1:4; 8:12), opens the eyes of the blind (John 9:7), makes and gives physical light to the world (Genesis 1:3, John 1:2-3), manifests God’s own glory, bestowing grace and truth (John 1:14), secures our adoption as children of God (John 1:12), and guarantees His victory in the world (John 1:5).

I recently revisited Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and that famous scene where Kurtz lies on his deathbed. Kurtz’s spiritual blindness is an unsettling reminder of our desperate need of Christ’s light:

“His was an impenetrable darkness. I looked at him as you peer down at a man who is lying at the bottom of a precipice where the sun never shines… He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision—he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath: ‘The horror! The horror!’”

Conrad had no answer for the darkness of the human heart. When faced with the horror of it, he could not formulate a solution. His only escape was to look away from it, to lie, and pretend it wasn’t there. Though the Light of Life has come, the world does not know Him, and it cannot comprehend the Light (John 1:5,10). 

But we have seen His glory and from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace! Thanks be to God!

Whether the darkness of sin and death masquerades as freedom, or shows itself in all its horror, still Christ’s light is not undone by human unbelief. It is not undone by our own struggles against our sin nature. No, Christ’s light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.

Written by Caleb Faires

Post Comments (10)

10 thoughts on "I am the Light of the World"

  1. Isaac Jones says:

    God is creator and sustainer. God is the light and in Him is no darkness. Man should turn to God and see. I am reducing the gospel, but how inadequate am I! How can I build in the truth that has been stated in the last two questions? Read and understand.

  2. Isaac Jones says:

    God spoke and everything was created. Jesus was the word of God at creation. Creation is not God, nor is God creation; rather, creation is the mane distraction of God. Like using night vision goggles, thermal imaging, or even looking in a mirror. These three things give us the ability to see what we otherwise could not; likewise, all of creation gives us all people a way to see the glory of God that they otherwise could not. How? God does not use a mirror or thermal imaging, He uses the word. And by the Word all Hingis were created, and by the Word we can see the majesty of God, namely His eternal attributes and power.

  3. Isaac Jones says:

    Man is made by the Word. Man sees by the Word. Other places in the bible tell us that all things are sustained by the spirit. We are made by the Word, and sustained by the Spirit. Literally everything we have is because of God’s incessant attention. God holds all of creation together, and that is nothing more than the image of His glory. This is foolishness, but there Is an analogy that may help; If I looked in the mirror, and suddenly my reflection became a person and came out of the mirror, still it would be a paltry reflection of Gods power. If I looked in a mirror and everything reflected in the mirror became another universe, still I would fall short. God has an ever expanding universe of galaxies upon galaxies. He then holds everything together and is so stable that we make what we call “laws” from our observation of how God holds things together consistently. This we call (observational) science. Looking at Gods glory is science; so it is such a stark rebuke when “scientists” themselves cannot see or understand God.

  4. Isaac Jones says:

    I will respond by utter obedience, and zeal for the Lord. I will begging by fearing the Lord knowing that all people both wise and foolish are alive simply and only by the forbearance of God and His eternal nature; namely His grace and mercy on the creation He made in His image.

  5. Isaac Jones says:

    Father God,
    Give me fear of you. Not a fear of foolishness, but of wisdom concerning the reality of what you have created and sustain. God convert me to your purposes. Purge my heart and mind. May I serve you and you only all the days of my life. I am your vessel and my use is yours. Do with me as you will for in you only do I have hope. I am wicked and know only wickedness. Use me instead for righteousness and allow me to emulate you. I pray this according to your Word. Please hear me and respond; amen.

  6. Daniel says:

    Man without Christ is not freedom; freedom must be found in Christ; it is the only way to release light into our darkness.

  7. Daniel says:

    God is the only light that can penetrate the darkness of the human heart.

  8. Daniel says:

    The light cannot be overcome by darkness; the gift of life is eternal and undefeated.

  9. Daniel says:

    I will live not from a place of defeat, but of victory; not of darkness, but of light.

  10. Daniel says:

    Lord, bless me with the glorious opportunity to be that light; to point the way to you. Amen.

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