Jesus Is – And Calls Us to Be – Light

Dear Zion,

Sometimes we look at all of the problems in the world, and it can become overwhelming. We see the darkness even in our own lives: broken & fractured relationships between husband & wife, parent & child, and family members; untrusting communities; dishonesty, greed and pride. So what is God doing about it now, and what are we to do?

The Gospel of John tells us that Jesus came as the “true light of the world” (1:9). The only way to combat the darkness of sin, injustice, violence, oppression and pride of this world was if God’s Light came fully human into our lives to chase away the shadows. And in Jesus, the Light of the World, we see the glory of God (John 1:14; II Corinthians 4:4 – 6).

By coming as the Light, Jesus went to war against darkness. Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness cannot remain where the true Light shines. Even in the Old Testament, God had promised He would send “a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6; cf. 42:6). So God began the Light when He spoke it into existence in Genesis 1. And in our rebellion; our divine treason; our sin against God – humanity had rejected the Light and lived in darkness. But God promised to send His light again, and Jesus is our “bright Morning star” (II Peter 1:19) and the “Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2). The Apostle John points out that the darkened world did not recognize or receive the true Light (John 1:10 – 11). Have you received God’s solution to the darkness? Is Jesus the light of your life?

When we consider that Jesus is the True Light, I hope you are blown away with amazement when we consider that Jesus invites us to share in His light! Jesus looks at his disciples, those who would follow Him, and He says to them: “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). If you are Jesus’ follower, He says to you right now – “You are the light of the world.” That is amazing! Paul Tripp, a pastor and counselor, summarizes how explosive these words really are:

Christ looks at the people gathered and says this magnificent thing: “You are the light of the world.” If you were standing in that crowd and you had any familiarity with the Old Testament, you would ask, “What is He saying? Light is a part of the essence of His Messiahship. He is taking one of His names and is giving it to us! What does He mean? He must be mixed up! He can’t actually be saying, ‘You are the light!’ He is the light!” But that’s exactly what Jesus says.[1]

Jesus calls us to live in His Light, so that we would reflect His Light in this darkened world. We are told to “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We are stars “shining in the world” (Philippians 2:15). And if our light will shine, we must be connected to the true Light by faith, so that our lights will not go out.

Christian, are you a part of God’s radical plan to save the world? Or are you on the sidelines, indifferent about Christ, the world, and shining for Him? Tripp again helpfully explains, “Wherever His people shine in this dark world, His Light becomes visible to those living in darkness. That’s the plan. We have a remarkable place in the kingdom work of God. We have a remarkable place in His ‘extreme makeover.’ He says, ‘You are that light. Light the darkness wherever you are.’” So shine your light with all of His strength!

Praying with you to shine your light,
Pastor Brian

[1] Paul David Tripp, “Little Moments That Change the World” Journal of Biblical Counseling Vol 23 No 4 (Fall 2005): 57. Credit to Tripp for this quote, as well as the inspiration for this meditation on Jesus as Light.

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