Scripture Reading: John 8:12-29, Psalm 27:1-14, John 1:1-4, Ephesians 5:8-14
“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
Jesus made these statements during the “Festival of Shelters” (or Tabernacles), which was a celebration of freedom for the people of Israel, commemorating their miraculous exodus from slavery in Egypt. During the feast, large torches were lit to recall how God’s presence led the way in a pillar of fire (see Exodus 13:21). It was in the shadow of four large torches, said to light up a whole section of the city, that Jesus identified Himself as the true and ultimate light of God’s presence, the light of the world. Jesus came to overcome the darkness of sin which separates us from God.
Since Adam and Eve first sinned in the garden, we have each acted like gods of our own lives, even as we’ve alienated ourselves from the true God who loves us. The Bible teaches that outside of God’s grace, we actually prefer the darkness to the light (John 3:19). Just like our first parents, we hide, afraid to be seen by God, and blaming others for our own broken choices. This dark rebellion against God is not the way it is supposed to be. Sadly, no matter how desperate we become, we are not able to muster our own light. We need the light of another. God, in His mercy, provided Jesus, the light of the world, who makes the light of life available to everyone who follows Him.
John’s Gospel was written to persuade his readers that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah. There were those who saw the signs Jesus performed and heard the incredible statements He made and recognized Him for who He was, the Savior of the world. These followers stepped out of the darkness and into the light. But there were others who witnessed the same aspects of Jesus’s ministry and rejected Him, refusing to leave their familiar darkness behind.
Today, we have the same choice before us. Do you believe that Jesus is the light of the world, the long-promised Messiah who rescues people from sin and makes all things new? He lovingly invites us to follow Him out of the darkness of sin and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). In the fullness of time, our Father raised up our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to enlighten our hearts with the knowledge of His love. May He grant us the grace to follow Him.
Written by Rob Wheeler