The new you… the Light Being the Light
“You are the Light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
When we see Jesus’ words, I am sure that we just might have some of the same thoughts as those who first heard these words. “Light of the world… that sounds great.. but what does it really mean?”
I am so glad that Jesus was not all talk. He actually provided us visual definitions to what He said to us. Being the Light of the world is no exception. Three times Jesus referred to Himself as “the light of the world” – and three times He provides a definition with His actions…
In John 8:12, Jesus says: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” Here, darkness refers to the ability to know God’s Heart and His ways – and to know them clearly. From Jesus’ example, we know that God is a God Who loves mercy, who longs to act with compassion – who finds no pleasure in judging wickedness. The context of John 8:12? Jesus’ encounter with the religious leaders concerning the woman caught in adultery!
In John 9:5, Jesus says: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5) Darkness, here is two-fold. One) It is the folly of human opinion (trying to figure out life by human means/reasoning). Two) Darkness is also the after-effects of sin. Disease, sickness, malady, even birth-defects are all the consequences of a fallen world. Light comes to take on the darkness – and prevail. The context of John 9:5? The healing of the man born blind (and the debate on why he was blind!).
In John 12:46, Jesus says: “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in Me will not remain in darkness.” Darkness, here, refers to all the ways in which men misunderstand God – all the ways in which they fail to see him as He really is. Our distorted views of God prevent us from seeing Him in His fullness – and erect the barriers that prevent us from running into His open arms.
It is this last context that best sums up what being the Light of the world really means. Jesus offers these words: “And whoever sees Me sees the One who sent Me.” (John 12:45) Jesus came to reveal God, as He really is. To see Jesus at work WAS to see God at work. To hear Jesus speak WAS to hear God speak.
Jesus came as The Light to shatter all the confusion, to restore what was broken, and to live a life of compassionate love – all to bring a revelation of God, as He really is. This is what the world needs. Not more religious instruction. Not more religious activity. Not more religious thoughts on right and wrong.
The world simply needs to see God – as He really is. As the Light of the world came and revealed Him. As the Light of the world must do now!
Prayer focus: God, help me to see that being the Light means You, revealing Yourself, through my life!