Day 4

I Am the Light of the World

from the I Am: Statements of Our Savior reading plan

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

BY Kaitlin Wernet

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).

Post Comments (40)

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

  1. 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!

  2. Churchmouse says:

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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:


  7. 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!

  8. 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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *