Sunday, August 30, 2015

Light Of The World

The Bible proves that Jesus is the light that we need.

John 1:4-5  The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 8:12  Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

John 12:35-36  Jesus replied, "My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going.  36  Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light." After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

John 12:46  I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.

There has been nothing but darkness in the land, the Bible and world history tell us that when Jesus came to our world it was a very dark time. The world was in turmoil as various conquering empires came and then they became the conquered.

After the Babylonian captivity the Jews had to deal with the Persians and the Greeks and finally the Romans came along. Each of these groups brought wars to Israel, changes in government and attempts to change their religious beliefs. On top of all of that the Bible shows us a four hundred year gap in between the Old Testament and the New Testament. The people of Israel had been through a lot of suffering, harassment and there was only one thing to hope for. May the Messiah would come.

The Bible tells us that at just the right time Jesus came into our world. (Romans 5:6, Galatians 4:4) I have to wonder if maybe part of it being the right time meant that the world was so dark that surely the people would take notice of the Light and come running to it. 

Man has an appetite for darkness and his passions will push him further and further into the dark as he continues to look for what he is missing. We keep looking for the good life where it cannot be found. Even if we say that we hate the dark and the lost, desperate situation we are in we still have a carnal desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the blackness to find our own answers.

Suddenly, in this dark world where immorality, injustice, and sin is glorified, where separation, death, sorrow, and hopelessness reign, the darkness is shattered and it happens just like the prophet Isaiah said that it would. (Isaiah 9:1-2)
Matthew 4:12-16 When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, He left Judea and returned to Galilee. 13 He went first to Nazareth, then left there and moved to Capernaum, beside the Sea of Galilee, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This fulfilled what God said through the prophet Isaiah:  

15 "In the land of Zebulun and of Naphtali, beside the sea, beyond the Jordan River, in Galilee where so many Gentiles live, 16 the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. And for those who lived in the land where death casts its shadow, a light has shined."
The Great Light appears and it cannot be hidden, Jesus gave light to everyone, too bad that everyone didn't welcome the light. Some people are happy with Jesus as long as he keeps providing free lunch and healthcare. There are some that cannot stand to be around him and they run from the light just like the Pharisees that turned and left the adulterous woman at Jesus feet. (John 8:7-9)

Jesus is teaching in the Temple the day after the seven day long Feast of Tabernacles. During the Feast Jesus was the focus of a large commotion which grew when Jesus told the crowds that he is the source of living water. (John 7:37-38)

During the Feast of Tabernacles a priest went to the Pool of Siloam, drew water in a golden pitcher, and returned to the temple, and poured it out at the base of the altar. This part of the feast commemorated God’s provision of water from the rock that sustained Israel during their stay in the wilderness.

The people that heard Jesus offer to give them living water knew the symbolism. They knew that Jesus claim meant that he was declaring that he is the Messiah, that's why his statement caused such a stir, but wait there's more.

Another symbolic act that was a part of the Feast of Tabernacles was the lighting of huge candelabras in the Court of Women. This was to commemorate the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night that led the Israelite's through the desert. The huge light from those candelabras was gone and they were probably smoldering as Jesus says to the crowd, "You remember the light last night in the temple here which made you remember the light that led Israel...I am the light of the world."
Malachi 4:2  "But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.
Light is a characteristic of God that the Messiah was predicted to have. (Isaiah 9:2, 49:6, 60:1) Everybody in the temple knew that Jesus was telling them that he is the Messiah, they know that the light of the Messiah is what their hopes have been longing for, but this guy doesn't look like a Messiah to them.
God's Light Came
John 3:19-21 And the judgment is based on this fact: God's light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.
God sent light into our world because we needed the light. He gave us the sun for physical life on this planet and he gave us the Son so that we could have spiritual life.There wasn't any way that we could get out of the dark on our own, out of God's love and mercy he gave us light so that we wouldn't have to live without hope in darkness, misery and death.
When salt is applied, it dissolves inward and disappears, the salt speaks of the inward part, the character of the Christian. Jesus also described His people as being like light, which is on the outside, the light speaks of the testimony of a follower of Christ, revealing and illuminating the truth.
-Adrian Rogers
I need to love the Light and allow it to expose the things that God wants to change in me. I need to allow the Light to shine through me so that the world can see the truth of the gospel and have the opportunity to see their sin, choose to repent and live in the light.