by Thomas Yerman

Light! It’s much more than illuminating energy to dispel darkness. Light is a biblically rich symbol.

It was the first thing God created (Genesis 1:3). Light guided God’s people in their journey after being freed from their bondage in Egypt (Exodus 13:21-22). The author of Psalms taught that the Lord was his light (Psalm 27:1). The prophet Isaiah said that the servant of the Lord would be a light for the nations and that God himself would one day be the everlasting light. (Isaiah 49:6, 60:19-20)


So when Jesus came to the rescue of a woman caught in her sin and revealed himself to the people saying, “I am the light of the world” it was a powerful and bold statement. I believe he was actually saying that the promised day of light has arrived! Jesus is the source of everlasting joy and salvation —light enabling us to see all things as they really are. Though Jesus confronted the women, he did not condemn her. He told her to sin no more. Then he told the people gathered there, “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” What a revelation to mankind, both then and now!

Let’s put that verse together: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) These words of Jesus are loaded with application to keep us living in and enjoying the light so we can push back the darkness in a very troubled world. His light pierces the human heart with at least three foundational truths—basic needs that confront the mind and heart with the choice to conform to his ways:

  1. I will live my life, living for the truth.
  2. I will live my life, dying to be free.
  3. I will live my life, holding on to the Lord.

Because Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” we can be assured that darkness will be dispersed, evil exposed, and falsehood revealed. Light gives us a clear path to walk on. The word truth can be used as an equivalent for light. Psalms 43:3 says, “Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me.” Psalm 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” God’s word is a lamp, a light that illuminates the darkness. Jesus identified himself as both, “the light of the world” and “the truth”—to whom we surrender our lives.

Because those who follow Jesus will be illuminated with truth, they will not walk in darkness. Darkness can be used as a symbol for sin. Romans 13:12 states, “The night is nearly over, the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Though we have the light, we also have a sinful nature. This sinful nature tempts us to fulfill selfish desires, desires we are learning to die to through the freedom that Christ purchased for us on the cross.

Because those who follow Jesus have been given the light of life, they no longer rely upon their own strength. We recognize how weak and helpless we are without him; that we can do nothing without him—nothing. We also realize how much he has done for us! He has adopted us into his family and then, commissioned us to represent him. Then in awe, we become conscience that we are identified with bearing his very name, image, and reputation and hold on to him with an embrace that never lets go.

So let’s enjoy the “Son light” together—living, dying, and holding on together. As we embrace the light illuminating the various shadows in the world around us, we can be assured that the glory of our heavenly Father is with us.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)  Be blessed and shine on!

Thomas Yerman is a pastor at Living Hope Church in Elk Grove Village, Illinois.

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