“I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
One of the joys of the Christmas season is seeing the various light displays around town. Each evening, neighborhoods and town squares alike come alive as thousands of tiny sparkling lights illuminate the darkness. From the tastefully elegant to the totally whacky, each display brings gladness to the heart and a smile to the face.
To me, the beautiful iridescent decorations are a vivid reminder of Jesus’ bold declaration in John 8. Jesus is the true light that has come into the world, offering us salvation and the light of life (John 1:9).
Let’s consider several practical implications of what this means:
- Need: To receive Jesus as our Light, we must humbly acknowledge our need and admit that we are in darkness without Him.
- Authority: We follow. He leads. Not the other way around.
- Guidance: As a flashlight brightens our path on a darkened trail, Jesus guides us through the twists and turns of life. We move at His pace and yield to His direction.
- Security: His constant presence brings a sense of security and safety as we navigate a dark world. We seek to stay as close to the Light as possible.
Knowing what Jesus offers when we receive Him as our Light, it would be foolish to wander away from Him, wouldn’t it? Yet, this is what you and I do all of the time. It is one thing to believe that Jesus is the Light of the World on a general level; it is quite another to have this belief shape our actions on a personal level and affect our everyday life.
Hundreds of years before Jesus, the prophet Isaiah sheds light on our daily predicament.
“Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God. But now, all you who light fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and of the torches you have set ablaze. You will lie down in torment” (Isaiah 50:10,11).
Isaiah is pleading with people and pointing them to the Source of the true light, the Lord, their God. Yet, what do they do? They reject it. They choose a life of self-sufficiency. The people “light their own torch” and march off towards torment. Why would the Israelites do this? For the same reasons that you and I do:
- We fail to see our daily need for Light
- We think we know better than Him how to live our lives.
Each day, you and I must decide who is going to be the Light of our life. Will we “light our own torch” and attempt to do life on our own? Or will we once again yield the leadership of our lives to Jesus, the Light of the world?
As you see the wonderful presentations of light in your neighborhood this Christmas season, contemplate whether or not Jesus is truly guiding your life.
Written by Jonathan Munson, Executive Director of RFTH