John's Gospel: The Light of the Word

I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
John 8:12

When we think of light it conjures up much to the imagination. Who can but behold the feel of standing in a small patch of sun, out of the wind, on a cold frosty morning, with the warming rays on the back. The rays that penetrates even to the heart, warming the blood.

Just think of the sun and you can visualize the sun’s rays dancing through the leaves on a warm spring day, feel its warmth and sweetness. The sun passing through a gap in the clouds, brightening a dull day, into a brilliance that hurts the eyes. The sun that blinds you when you walk from a dark room into the sunshine of the day.

Seeing a child wonder at the sun passing through a small hole into a darkened room causing the dust particles to twinkle in the sunbeam.

It is light that rids the darkness around us: divides the darkness into two. The joy at seeing the first glimpse of the morning radiance after a night of storms, after much weeping and wailing, the sun heralded by the bright and morning star which brings light to darkness. The light that shows the storm is over, and day dawns.

Can we be a David and say The Lord is my light and my salvation, Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?  (Ps 27:1).

It is the light that strengthens us, the light the lifts the heart, lightens the burden, gives peace to the soul. It is light that divides darkness, for God divided the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4).

But a far greater light than the sun has come, the Son of Man. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). He is a light far sweeter than the sun (Ecclesiastes 11:7) , far more radiant, far more everlasting, far more discerning.

Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:19).

Light reveals the eternal things. It exposes the transience of the unrepentant soul. It shows the way unto salvation.  The light ministers to our immortal natures. It can do no better. Our wretchedness is declared for what it is. Light shone on a uneven, dirty surfaces shows it up for what it is. But with man, he does not comprehend it.

The Light allows us to behold sin in its true colours. For you were once [in] darkness, but now you are light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8). For it one wishes to expose something, to show it up, to view it, one shines a light on it. Everything exposed by the light becomes visible, hence "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."

The preacher [Solomon] found that light excels darkness. Darkness cannot hold back light. Yet it is the fool that walks in darkness. Man is foolish. He loves darkness rather than light. All his days he also eats in darkness, And he has much sorrow and sickness and anger. (Ecclesiastes 5:17).

If a man begets a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with goodness, or indeed he has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better than he—for it comes in vanity and departs in darkness, and its name is covered with darkness. (Ecclesiastes 6:3)

Wickedness is darkness. How much of our drunkenness, sexual immorality, idolatry – for all this is wickedness – takes place after dark. Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who leave the straight paths to walk in dark ways, who delight in doing wrong and rejoice in the perverseness of evil (Proverbs 2:13).

The Light has come. But beware, men may stand in the most bright of all lights and not see. There are two aspects to John 8:12. Paul, who calls himself the greatest of sinners was walking from darkness to darkness, when he was surrounded by a great light. What happened to him? He become blind. He could not see even though the light was very bright. We learn this in Acts 26. Note the great lesson we learn from this passage. Paul, now blind, stands in the presence of the Light. And what is Paul told? What was God’s mission for Paul?

"to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me". Acts 26:18.

Which people – the Gentiles – see verse 17.

In order to see the light our eyes must be opened. The Children of Israel had God dwelling in their midst. God’s glory filled the tabernacle. But did they see? No! The Children of Israel were blind.  "His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber". Isaiah 56:10. What powerful words. How salient they are today.

We must have our eyes opened.

You may ask, how?

He (GOD) will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. (Isaiah 35:5)

The Jews were to be a blessing to the world. What of us? What of the gentiles. Indeed God says, I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’" (Isaiah 49:6).

That day has come.

"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) said Jesus. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. (Isaiah 60:1).

The light separates darkness. Turn to the Light and He will save you. For This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). No effort on your part will diminish the darkness. Darkness can only be done away with by light. God is the LORD which hath shown us light (Psalm 118:27).

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
(Colossians 1:13)

What light you say. Your wretched miserable body – the flesh – is still with you. But your inner soul can be at peace. Your heart is warmed with the Truth. The Light is with us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, it indwells us. Just as the Glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle so does the Holy Spirit fill every believer. Do you allow Him to shine out? Remember, He has delivered us from the power of darkness!

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. (Romans 13:12). The Light of the Lord is no fleeting ray of sunshine between storms: put on the whole armour. It protects us. It guides us. It gives inner peace. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4).

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. In the Light comes Life. Without Light there is no life. A plant cannot survive for long in darkness. The tender shoots arising from a seed quickly seeks earnestly the light. Jesus is that light to us. As John could further record Jesus "was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world".

Therefore, let us cast off the works of darkness. Put aside that heavy burden. Pass it to Him.

The children of the day need to be sober, honest, and bold in the Lords work (Spg).

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8). Sin needs to be dealt with. Temptation needs to be defeated – in the power of God to salvation.

Jesus come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Jesus should not abide in darkness. John 12:46.

David L Simon, CCC, Nov 2003
Gospel John\The Gospel of John 8_12 (The Light of the World)
Edited 2020 March 29