I Am the Light of the World

Open Your Bible

John 8:12-29, Psalm 27:1-14, John 1:1-4, Ephesians 5:8-14

Don’t get me wrong—I love the change of seasons and readily welcome autumn, but when summer begins to deflate, I want to grab on to every last drop. And then, when we begin losing daylight at a rate of two minutes per day (ugh!), I am absolutely done for. Shorter, colder days force us to come inside early and remember what it’s like to live in the darkness. Am I the only one who’s still a little afraid of the dark?

You and I both know we’re not strangers to the darkness. We see it every day, in every season. It’s in our conflicts and our diagnoses, our best intentions and our hurt feelings. Maybe winter feels harder because it’s just a stark, visual reflection of our sinful reality. Left to our own devices, we are people wandering in darkness (Isaiah 9:2). Since the fall in the garden, we have all been scrounging around in the pitch-black of our sin and shame, our souls in danger of never truly seeing light again.

But here’s what I love about the gospel: Just as we sometimes see a visual representation of the sinful nature of our souls, God gives us an everlasting image of redemption and hope in His Son, Jesus. In the Gospel of John, we read:

“Jesus spoke to them again: “‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

Let’s jump in with a little bit of context here: Jesus is speaking to a crowd that included Jewish religious leaders. He is in the temple complex, and the Feast of Tabernacles is taking place. The Jews had been debating His identity because of the miracles people had seen and the authority with which He spoke. And now Jesus gives them one more outrageous statement to debate: “I am the light of the world.”

Light was an important symbol in the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33–44), signifying the pillar of fire given to Israel during the exodus (Exodus 13:21). But here in John chapter 8, Jesus is saying that He Himself is the light given to His children, illuminating the way to eternal life. His declaration is for us as well.

Now, we, as beloved children of Christ, have seen the great light of life set before us. Let us hold on to Him, our only sure hope in the midst of darkness. He is our light in this life and our eternal salvation, our stronghold in the face of all fear and dread (Psalm 27:1). May He awaken us from the darkness of our sin and our slumber of ambivalence (Ephesians 5:13–14).

(40) Comments

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40 thoughts on "I Am the Light of the World"

  1. Tomeka Jones says:

    I loved this devotional. I know this was written specifically for me to read today!! Thank you for being obedient.

  2. Juliana Gall says:

    That’s all I needed to read today!

  3. Regina Clinton says:

    May I follow His Light always.

  4. Brè Danielle says:


  5. morgan kiblen says:


  6. Doris says:

    All year I see the world as a picture of darkness and here comes Christmas with lights shining everywhere. After Christmas, we take our lights down and we are back in the dark. Christmas reminds me of Jesus being the Light of the world. And when the lights of Christmas are packed down for another year, I see spiritually the need of Jesus for a darken world.

  7. Angela tanner says:

    What a wonderful reminder of Gods great love for us. It’s free and there for the taking. God wants us to plug into Him and not all the distractions.

  8. Erin Helgerson says:

    I found this article that was helpful to explain how light was important during the feast of tabernacles: https://jewsforjesus.org/jewish-resources/community/jewish-holidays/sukkot-the-feast-of-tabernacles/

  9. Kellie LynaePerron says:

    ♥️ Let us hold onto Him, our only sure hope in the midst of darkness.♥️

  10. Chelsea Adkins says:

    I adore the psalmist’s certainty in verses 13-14 he is absolutely certain that he will see the Lords goodness in the land of the living, and gaze upon his beauty and glory! It’s great having the certainty of Christ who is the light of us (mankind)!

  11. Ashley Thomas says:

    I will always seek Him, even if I must wait for Him. I once read a devotional about the darkness. God created light, but he also created the dark. The person in this devotional took walks at night in the country without light on purpose. Sometimes, the moon provided some light. Other times, there was no moon. This person was trying to convey how we should not fear the darkness. They felt some of their best prayer time was during these night walks. They were fully trusting God. Sure they stumbled sometimes, but that is to be expected, whether in the darkness or the light.

  12. MARTHA says:


  13. LL says:

    the reading/devotions/comments left me singing in my heart a song from our church’s worship circle called shine on me. the chorus sings:

    Shine on me
    Every shadowed corner of my soul be seen
    Because with Your dawn comes the promise of
    New life in my darkness
    So shine, shine on me


    thank you to everyone who is so faithful to share and comment. i don’t comment very often but all of your insights always encourage me to go deeper. thanks again! ~l

  14. Audrey Flores says:

    I have spent most of my life in spiritual darkness. I was surrounded by those who rejected me and said I wasn’t good enough. When my personhood was attacked I truly felt that I was unloveable. That I wasn’t enough. I was in darkness for almost 9 miserable years. And yet He found me deep in the darkness. He brought His light to me and reminded me that He loves me. Even when I stumble still I am enough. His light guide my path out of the darkness. His light shines on lies said by the enemy. His truth says I am loved and enough. His love comforts me as I cry. His light is truly life.

  15. Savannah King says:

    My prayer for today: Lord! Light my path. Light the fire in my heart to see ONLY Your way. Lord YOU are the ONLY way.

  16. Maura says:

    Love that Jesus is the light of the world. How many timeshas He lit up my path, disintegrated the darkness in my days, given me warmth when I was feeling caught in the cold of this world? The joy of the Lord is my strength. Thank you ladies for your words. Shawn, I agree with all the comments. Lovely, and now when I look at every light I will attribute it to our Light of the world. What a fantastic way to see Jesus. There is no darkness in His presence. Hallelujah! What a God we serve.

  17. Amber Trimble says:

    Lord be my Light and my Salvation. All I want is to be in the Light.

  18. Mari V says:

    I had to chuckle a little when I read the introduction of Kaitlin’s devotion. I too hold on to every last bit of summer. Those of us in the west coast are experiencing some cold temperatures but this weekend is going to be high 80s and low 90s! I am excited! My daughter on the other hand loves this weather but she is one who does not like darkness at all! We’ve been living here with my mom over two years now. She is a night owl. So when she goes to bed she turns on all the lights as she makes her way to her room. I’m thankful for my mom is very patientAnd does not mind in the middle of the night going back to turn off the lights. I know this has nothing to do with the devotion but it’s just something that I’ve been thinking about as my daughter has been healing here. She was even able to give her testimony two weeks ago about what God is doing in her life, where she was, and was very transparent of where she is now.I thankful although she and I bud heads at times, she loves Jesus. I’m so blessed God gave her to me.

  19. Cynthia Ramain says:

    I myself am not particularly afraid of the “physical” dark, but VERY afraid of the “spiritual” dark. When life gets scary, overwhelming, and honestly just too much to handle at times, I remind myself not to let go of Jesus’ hand! In fact, I ask him multiple times a day not to let go. It helps to remind me that I am never alone. Just as Hootie and the Blowfish sang to America, I sing to Jesus “I’m going to love you the best that, the best that I can”.

  20. Jajas says:

    I know in my heart and my soul that Jesus is the light of this world. But how often am I putting His light on a dimmer? I adjust His brightness to fit the mood of the room. Here, in this SRT forum, I turn the switch to its full potential, but I have to be honest and say that in the “real world” I resort to turning it down. I don’t want to be overbearing or preachy or holier-than-thou. So in hopes of not being offensive or off-putting, I prevent the light of Christ from shining as it should.

    Lord, I ask you to soften my heart so I can allow your light to shine for those who need your saving grace. I pray that you’ll give me the courage to walk confidently in your light even when it’s not “convenient” for the crowds.

    1. Suzie McRae says:

      Thanks for ur candor! And Yes, Jesus give us the courage not to be a dimmer switch!

  21. Janet C says:

    Psalm 139:11. If I say, surely the darkness will hide me, and the light around me will be dark. But even the darkness is not dark to you. The night shines like the day. I have come to love this verse as a reminder that even in our darkest moments, the light of Jesus still shines around us. He overcomes the dark every..single…day! SHINE ON!

  22. Churchmouse says:

    Shawn, beautiful words. I’m basking in the visuals you so wonderfully shared. Thank you!

  23. Churchmouse says:

    I have several different types of light-producing items in my house. Flashlights, of course, in case of an emergency – in a drawer, hopefully with good batteries. The little lamp beside the chair where I do most of my reading. The large chandelier that hangs at the peak. But the most important source of light is the smallest. The tiny nightlight in the hallway. I’m so grateful for it when I hear our toddler granddaughter crying out in the night. I stumble, barely awake, on my way to her room, grateful for that little light of mine. The smallest of lights penetrates the darkest night. Darkness loses every time.
    Jesus is the light of the world. He shines bright no matter how dark the day, how frightening the night. He lights the way. He reveals the path. He invites me to take His light and shine it forth so that others might see. “This little Light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.” (It’s ok. You can sing along )

    1. Nancy Singleton says:

      Love this!

  24. Kelly Chataine says:

    1 In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 All things were created through him, and apart from him, not one thing was created that has been created. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

    Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would also know my Father.”

    All of the time, the scripture says it far better than I could.

  25. Angie says:

    Thank you Shawn Parks for the beautiful analogies to His Light in our lives. I almost pictured your writing this morning like one of those little books of encouragement you place on an end table with a picture on one side and short verse or devotional on the other. It is beautiful.

    Kristen – thank you also, Jesus is awesome!

    He is, I AM.

  26. Shawn Parks says:

    The first moment of morning light breaking over the horizon-He is my hope.
    The crackle of lightning in a dark and violent storm- He is my strength.
    The cone of light from a flashlight grasped tightly in my hand-He is my guide.
    The last colors of day in as the sun sinks into the rippling sea- He is my peace.
    The flickering solitary candle balanced on a window’s ledge- He is my refuge.
    The revolving beacon breaking through the fog on craggy boulders-He is my protector.
    The glowing red and orange embers of a long burning campfire-He is my constant.
    The crack of light from an open door- He is my redeemer.
    The blanket of twinkling stars spread out across a dark night sky- He is my everything!
    Lord, You are my light. Light my way today.

    1. Bessie H says:

      That is beautiful, Shawn. Your writing is Spirit filled and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    2. Julie Ganucheau says:


    3. Elaine Morgan says:


    4. Kathy Stansell says:

      Shawn, your words make me want to go home and paint all of this imagery. In fact, next week is my fall break. This may be what I do over break!

    5. Kathy Stansell says:

      Shawn, this is beautiful! It makes me want to go home and paint each image. Next week is my fall break. This may be what I work on.

    6. Nancy Hubbard says:


    7. Audrey Flores says:

      This is just incredibly beautiful! Thank you for reminding me of the different forms His light can take. Glory be to Him!

    8. Khim R says:


    9. Dana Clements says:

      Thank you for this!! I love the way you described Him!

    10. Monica Davis says:


  27. Kristen says:

    After writing what I did above, I went over to this teaching on the First 5 app: @First5App @Proverbs31org Parenting young adults sometimes means watching movies I might not choose for myself. My daughter loves futuristic films about a hero struggling in a bleak apocalypse.

    It is like she was communicating what I was thinking, but her teaching is much better! Please read the teaching if you want! It is encouraging!

  28. Kristen says:

    Jesus is awesome! Because of His great love we have hope in all situations, an Advocate, freedom, and eternal life. God sent the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us. May He help me to walk with gratitude, in humility, and with joy and shine His Light in a dark, lost, and desperate world. People don’t know Him, and that is the Great Commission. We are to go and tell the world about the love and hope of our Savior, Jesus Christ!