Jesus — The Light of The World

| Meg Barnes

I love light.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I love having every window shade open and every lamp turned on when I’m in a room (and sometimes even when I’m not in the room). I love being outside letting the sun’s light wash over me. The brightness, for that moment, often chases away the darkness of fear, doubt, or loneliness. And over the past several months of increased isolation, I have found myself seeking out bright spaces more and more.

There have been many days, particularly as the events of injustice and outrage unfolded across our nation, when the brokenness of our world has drawn hopelessness over my soul like a curtain. My fears and uncertainties cast a deep shadow across my heart that I just can’t seem to shake. Everywhere I turn, confusion abounds, people are pointing fingers, anger and injustice fill the headlines. I have no idea what the future will hold for our world or for my family. And let’s be honest—I just really miss people! Walking out in the sunshine or turning on every single light in the house helps to distract me from the darkness, but the Lord has continually brought me back to this truth—there is only one true light that shines into the darkness of my soul and this broken world.

In John 8:12, Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life” (NASB).

He confirms this again in John 12:46 by saying “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness” (NASB).

As I reflect on the racial tension that grips our nation, it feels like the darkness is too deep and too powerful to permeate. It feels as though injustice, anger, and chaos have won. But know this—they have not won. Jesus is the Light of the World—powerful enough to pierce this present darkness and illuminate the darkest, most sinful corners of my own heart and to do the same for every person who chooses to believe in and follow Him. Without His light, you, me, and every soul on this earth walk in utter darkness—unable to comprehend righteousness or truth. But PRAISE GOD that Jesus chose to descend into our darkness so that we need not remain there. We have been given the “Light of life” in Christ. “God, who said ‘Light shall shine out of darkness…’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NASB).

So, what does this mean for us as believers in our present circumstances? How do we respond?

  1. We must examine and address what the Light reveals.

    We must always begin with our own hearts. 2 Corinthians 4:6 says that God has “shone light into our hearts.” When a light is turned on in a dark room, it illuminates everything in that room—the good along with the bad. Ask the Lord to illuminate the darkest corners of your heart so that you may see and confess anything in you that is offensive to Him. Do not make your heart a place that is hospitable to sin, but instead ask him to replace prejudice with love, self-righteousness with mercy, gossip with prayer, and bitterness with grace. As we choose to “walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7 NASB).

  2. Allow the Light to shine brightly through you.

    Ephesians 5:8-10 calls us to “Walk as children of the light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.” Praise God that in His great mercy, He shines His glorious light into our hearts—without it, we would be walking in utter darkness. But that’s exactly how so many in our world are walking through life—devoid of true goodness, righteousness, and truth. This should grieve our hearts as it grieves His! As children of the light, we must do everything we can to share that light with others. We must pursue the truth by being in His Word and listening to His Spirit so that He can display His goodness and righteousness through us to a world that is so desperate for light. Rather than condemning unbelievers for walking in darkness, may we have compassion on them and gently and lovingly show them the true Light of the World in our words and actions.

  3. Find your hope in the eternal Light.

    Even on the days when the darkness seems to have won, know this. God sees. He is the Light, and no person and no action is hidden from His sight (Hebrews 4:13, 2 Chronicles 16:9). There will be a day when the perfectly just God will address every sin committed on this earth—those committed with the whole world watching and those done in secret under the cover of darkness. This does not mean that seeking justice in this world is irrelevant, but rather that even as we seek to “act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God,” our hope is found in the eternal Light who will expose every sin, judge with righteousness, and make all things new (Micah 6:8).

As we strive to walk as children of the light in a world that seems overrun by darkness, may the Lord remind us that Jesus is the Light of the World who shines in the darkness both now and forevermore. And let us rejoice in the knowledge that there will be a day when “night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:5).

Come, Lord Jesus!