The Light of the World

Light is our most important source of energy.  Without it there would be nothing.  Light is the most valuable resource we have.  Light is one of the first things God created.  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.” (Genesis 1:1-5)

Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world; whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the Light which gives life.” (John 8:12) This is one of the most famous statements that Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry.  The setting and timing of Jesus proclaiming “I am the Light of the world” was intentional and strategic.  It took place about six months before His death and resurrection.  Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Temple during the Feast of Tabernacles teaching in the area of the Temple called the Court of the Women and also known as the Treasury.  The Feast of Tabernacles is a major Jewish festival celebrating God’s guidance of the Israelites during their forty years of wondering in the desert after they left Egypt.  God led them by light; a pillar of fire at night and a lighted cloud during the day. Very large candelabras were placed all around the Court of the Women In preparation of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The temple priests would light the candelabras each evening and the candles would burn all night.  Historians record the illumination of the temple as a stunning vision.  It looked like a diamond in the midst of the city of Jerusalem filling the whole temple area with flashing light. 

Those at the temple when Jesus made the statement “I am the Light of the world.” knew exactly what He meant.  Jesus was proclaiming His deity, and that His light will never go out. He was promising that if you follow Him you will never walk in darkness, just as the Israelites had the pillar of fire and the lighted cloud that guided them through the desert.  Jesus was proclaiming that His Light was superior to the Light that was provided during the desert wanderings.   Jesus Himself is the Light of abundant life here on earth and eternal life in heaven.  Jesus is the Light that has never and will never be extinguished.  His Light is not a light to gaze upon or simply be admired.  Jesus’ Light is a movement – a Light to be followed. It is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful that God started out by creating light with the intention that it would not only be the crucial resource for physical life but that it would also represent the necessity of Jesus for our spiritual and eternal life.

Diann Anderson 12/8/2020

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