Bible Society of South Africa

Jesus – Day 4

Jesus: The Light of the World.

Bible text(s)

21During the day the LORD went in front of them in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and during the night he went in front of them in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day.

Exodus 13:21GNBOpen in Bible reader

Jesus the Light of the World

12Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. “I am the light of the world,” he said. “Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.”

3Then God commanded, “Let there be light” — and light appeared.

Genesis 1:3GNBOpen in Bible reader

2you cover yourself with light.

You have spread out the heavens like a tent

Psalms 104:2GNBOpen in Bible reader

God is Light

5Now the message that we have heard from his Son and announce is this: God is light, and there is no darkness at all in him.

1 John 1:5GNBOpen in Bible reader

27The figure seemed to be shining like bronze in the middle of a fire. It shone all over with a bright light

Ezekiel 1:27GNBOpen in Bible reader

16He alone is immortal; he lives in the light that no one can approach. No one has ever seen him; no one can ever see him. To him be honour and eternal dominion! Amen.

1 Timothy 6:16GNBOpen in Bible reader

Judgement by Jesus' Words

44Jesus said in a loud voice, “Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in him who sent me. 45Whoever sees me sees also him who sent me. 46I have come into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness.

John 12:44-46GNBOpen in Bible reader

In comparing the two Scriptures above, we see that each one relates to God providing guidance for His people. The difference between them is that the Exodus verse, from the Old Testament, shows God providing light literally, the visible symbol of His Presence for the Israelites to follow as they leave Egypt on their way to the Promised Land, whereas the verse from John in the New Testament shows Jesus promising to provide light figuratively. What does Jesus mean when He speaks of His followers having “the light of life”?

Except for sleep at night, life is usually lived in the light, and light is usually preferred to darkness. Even simple things are difficult in the dark. How would you feel walking down a flight of stairs, attending a play, unlocking your door, or having your surgeon performing an operation on you in the dark? And what could you grow without the sun? Absence of light, in many cases, spells disaster. Children (and some adults) are often afraid of the dark and prefer to go to sleep with the light on. Others feel upset when there is a power failure. The truth of the matter is that people thrive in light and need it for life. In Genesis, the first thing that God created, after the earth, was light (Genesis 1:3) as the main life source.

Light symbolises so much more than just relief from darkness, though. It stands for righteousness, wisdom and sight. We read in Psalm 19: “The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” When we live in obedience, we radiate the light of goodness, understanding and wisdom and reflect God’s glory.

God radiates light because of His perfect goodness, omniscience, holiness and glory and is seen as being “wrapped in light” (Psalm 104:2). In Him “is no darkness at all”. (1 John 1:5) In Ezekiel’s vision God appears in dazzling light and is shining intensely: “I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him.” (Ezekiel 1:27) Paul speaks to Timothy of God … who alone is immortal and lives in unapproachable light …” (1 Timothy 6:16). But “(When) Jesus cried “out, ‘When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-46) He is saying that He is the way to knowing God. He is speaking of bringing the light of spiritual knowledge and understanding to the believer, which brings life.

And you? Do you have the light of life that Jesus brings? Or do you still live in the darkness?

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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