Jesus was constantly claiming to be God. In subtle hints, in mighty works, and in bold statements. When He declared, “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12), it was an unmistakable claim. Every first-century Jew knew that the first creative act of God was to bring forth light. God spoke, into a formless, empty darkness: ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen 1:2,3). That is why this I AM statement was so audacious.
John called Jesus “The light of men” (Jn 1:4) and “the true light that gives light to every man” (v. 9). Light so that men might find their way back to God. Darkness, by definition, is nothing more than the absence of light. Sin has filled the world like darkness fills a room with no illumination. I was in a cavern once and the guide turned off the electric lights in the space. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. Then he lit a match, and the space was no longer filled with darkness. The light chased the darkness away.
John said, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). In other words, sin and evil will not overcome the light of God through Christ Jesus. Sin will not win. Ever. Wherever darkness resides, when Jesus comes in, He takes over. He fills the space with His light. That’s good news to those of us who have loved ones in darkness. Jesus can change the darkest human heart.
After his bold I AM statement, Jesus said, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” I used to think that was an imperative statement – like “you are not to walk in darkness” complete with wagging finger – but it really is a description. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). That’s you and me and every follower. We will never walk in darkness because we carry His light with us wherever we go. And when we bring the light of Christ into a dark space – well I think you know the rest. Darkness cannot survive in the presence of Light.
The world needs the light of Jesus and you are His light-bearer. Go be light for your loved one, your friend, your classmates, co-workers, and yes, even your enemies. Light is irresistible in a dark place. Beloved, let’s go light up the world.