Text: John 8:12, 9:1-7, John 1:1-18, Genesis 1:1-5
This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.
The older I get, the more I enjoy (that is, “require”) moderate temperatures, my feather pillow, and hot showers—creature comforts. Yet I’m still strangely drawn to watching survival reality shows on TV. That people would choose to endure extreme, potentially fatal, conditions greatly entertains me from the comfort of my couch and extra-large bowl of popcorn. Watching these shows from a safe distance on my cushy perch, I’m reminded of just how vulnerable we humans truly are.
The priorities for survival, regardless of setting, include: finding a clean water source, fashioning some form of shelter, locating food, and building a fire. How fitting then, that our Savior, Jesus Christ, proclaims that He is Life (Colossians 3:4), and He is everything essential for life. He is the Living Water (John 4:10) and the Bread of Life (John 6:35). He is our nourishment (John 15:5) and our shelter (Psalm 91). The One who created us also sustains us, giving us everything we need to survive and even thrive here on earth (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Today we read about another necessity: light. And once again, Jesus does more than provide light for us. Scripture tells us that He Himself is light:
“I am the light of world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Hours of watching survival TV shows have taught me that those first precious hours “on the island,” so to speak, are spent using whatever means necessary to start fire. Once burning steadily, the fire provides warmth and a means of cooking food, protection from dangerous enemies, and yes, light. But bringing physical sight into the darkness isn’t all that light gives us. Our need for illumination goes so much deeper.
Like the man born without sight in John chapter 9, we are spiritually blind, powerless to overcome the darkness. But when Jesus comes near and turns our hearts toward Him, we are given a new kind of sight (2 Corinthians 3:16). In Christ’s presence, we are able to see the world as it truly is. We also begin to see people—all people—as made in the image of God, full of dignity and worth. By His Spirit, the Savior opens our eyes to eternal things, teaching us to walk by faith, not by physical sight (2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7).
You and I aren’t stranded on a desert island today (at least I hope not!), but we are desperate for light all the same. Only the light of Jesus can give us sight, revealing the depth of our sin and the vastness of His grace. Only the light of Jesus cannot be overcome by the darkness (John 1:5).
Father, You are good, and Your provision is perfect. Draw us near to Jesus, the Light of the world, for warmth, for healing, and for life. Amen.