Day 29

I am the Light of the World

from the Lent 2016 reading plan

John 8:12, 9:1-7, John 1:1-18, Genesis 1:1-5

BY Vivian Mabuni

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.”
-John 8:12

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 peopleall peopleas 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.

Post Comments (77)

77 thoughts on "I am the Light of the World"

  1. Jesus is not just all I need. He is MORE than enough. Resting in this truth today.

  2. Sam says:

    First post on here, been following over a year. I need advice from some strong women. My boyfriend and I have been together a little less than a year, with the intention of marrying. I have always felt he was the one for me. But he was unfaithful. In the worst way, and we were waiting for marriage. I’m torn with what to do since he has repented for his sin and wants to change. Any help? The Lord has been forever faithful and shown me that I will be okay through this. I just don’t know if we can fix the damage

    1. Celeste says:

      Sam, I felt compelled to reply to your post this morning. I have been married for 13 years and have five children with my dear husband. While we don’t have a “perfect” marriage, we have made a practice of surrounding ourselves with people who challenge our faith and hold us accountable in our marriage. During seasons of challenge in our marriage, my husband has sought counsel from men he knows will shoot straight with him, who won’t hold back and who will hold his feet to the fire, our marriage is just too important. My encouragement for you is that if you both truly believe that marriage is your future, I would immediately start meeting with your pastor and get connected to a mentor couple and I would ask your boyfriend to be transparent with these individuals about his sin and ask for accountability and for guidance in your relationship. I believe healing can take place for you both, but it will take time and trust will need to be built up once again. Gaining wisdom and insight from other seasoned couples who at following the Lord will benefit your relationship greatly. I prayed for you this morning. I’m sorry you are walking this difficult path, but I trust the Lord will guide you and give you peace as you seek His will in this relationship. God bless you, Sam!

    2. jessiechatchat says:

      Praying for clarity and vision for you, Sam. For strength and hope for whatever is ahead. That Jesus would continue to be your light. That your heart and future would be protected. Infidelity has so many roots. Sometimes it shows a wrongheaded view of the purpose of sex and a damaged view of women. I echo Celeste and also strongly recommend seeing a Christian counselor (many have sliding scale rates). Both together if you decide to move forward and just for your own heart.

    3. Jennifer says:

      I agree with all that these ladies have said. I’m so sorry for your pain. I know it is deep and so confusing. I’m praying for you. If you continue in the relationship, it is imperative that you seek counsel from your pastor and/or a Christian counselor. Here is a website that might be helpful to you

    4. Shari says:

      Sam, my heart breaks for you as I have been right where you are. At age 19 I was engaged to marry a young man. We were waiting until marriage to have sex but he had sex with another woman. He was a Christian and asked for forgiveness from God and myself. It was a hard, hard road with lots of love and support from my minister and friends. I finally was able to forgive him, but ultimately I decided to end it with him. I decided that the marriage I hoped to have for the rest of my life, didn’t start out this way. I went on to search for that husband that would give me the marriage I’d hoped for. God blessed me with my husband and we’ve been married 26 years. My marriage is not perfect by any means but I believe God had more in mind for me than a union with a man I couldn’t trust. I’m not encouraging you to leave your boyfriend, but I do want you to know that being a Christian does not mean you must stay with him. You do have to forgive him, but sin does have consequences. Marriage is a long tough road even without the problems of starting out with trust issues. Mostly, I pray you will ask God HIS plan for you in marriage. I also pray He will give you real clarity on those plans. Listen to the Spirit and He will guide you. Prayers to you, Sam. I’m praying for you a happy marriage with the right man, whoever God chooses that to be.

    5. Beth says:

      And, Sam, no matter what, I pray that you know that this is not your fault. It is definitely worth waiting for marriage–that is a precious gift you can give to your husband. Whether you stay with your boyfriend or move on, please don’t think you could have avoided all of this by being more physically intimate sooner. There will almost certainly be times in your marriage when physical intimacy is impossible (sickness, travel, etc) and it communicates a lot to your future husband that you will be faithful during those times or during times of temptation when you choose to wait even when it’s hard (and vice versa). At the same time, God is a redeemer. He will take broken situations and make them new. He will grow us if we are willing to grow. Intimacy is a hot button issue for you now because it’s something you know to care about, but over the long years of marriage, you bump into multitudes of things to care about. More than someone who “behaves” about the issue that’s intense for you now, I pray for you someone who continually grows in his relationship with God so he responds with wisdom to the situations that come. God sees you. He knows you. He loves you. He is for you.

      1. Beth says:

        I re-read my comment and just wanted to be clear that I’m not saying this is not an important issue, faithfulness is always an important issue in a relationship. I was more trying to say that I am praying more for you than just someone who is physically faithful to you–I’m praying for someone who can turn to his relationship with God to figure out what to do when the rules aren’t as easy or straightforward as faithfulness.

    6. Katy says:

      I love the comment above that was made, as a christian you do HAVE to forgive. But it’s very important to understand that you are not married to this man and you don’t have to restore that relationship. What we can see of sin outwardly is always a symptom of the “roots” of that sin as someone put it earlier, those roots go deep and are usually far reaching. Jesus can definitely heal him and redeem him, I’m not saying that he’s ruined or past the point of redemption. Not at all. But–you aren’t married yet and you don’t have to walk into a covenant relationship with someone who has some intense roots of sin that are going to be very far reaching for both of you. I hope it’s ok, but I read your comment to my husband. He is a solid believer and pastor and his advice for you was “Run.” You boyfriend and you both could benefit from counseling for sure, but you don’t have to walk in that together. I know this was really straight forward advice, I just want you to know that because you aren’t married you still have a choice. Just because you intended to be married one day doesn’t mean that you have to stay, this also isn’t the relationship that you thought you were heading towards, and I’m guessing this situation has revealed more about this man then just this isolated sin.

      1. Jennifer says:

        Katy- I love every bit of your comment. My instinct was to say “run” as well. I thought it sounded harsh, but sin is harsh! And yes, Sam, you are not in a covenant relationship with your boyfriend yet. Marriage is hard, and the choices a couple makes while dating absolutely effects their marriage forever. Jesus has taken care of all of our sins on the cross, but there are always consequences left after sin while we are here on this earth. I’m still praying for you, Sam! You have been on my heart. As you can see from all these responses, you have a lot of women concerned for you and praying for you. I hope you have seen all these comments :)

  3. Heather Clement says:

    Nothing in Scripture is accidental – it is all perfectly timed, and I’m always amazed at how all of the pieces of Scripture come together and bring deeper meaning to God’s Word. Take this instance where Jesus declares Himself to be “the Light of the world” in John 8:

    Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (v. 12)

    When the Israelites were escaping Egypt and being led to the Promised Land, they followed the Lord in a pillar of fire. Now Jesus is telling them that whoever follows Him will NEVER walk in darkness. He is offering deliverance here that far exceeds the deliverance they experienced in the wilderness. This deliverance is eternal in nature. It brings light and life and breaks the bondage of sin and death.

    It’s no coincidence that Jesus chose this particular time – the lamp lighting ceremony – to use the picture of light to express His identity as the Light of the World. Isn’t that rich?

    We don’t have to stumble around in the dark, feeling our way through life. I love these words:

    “Light is beautiful and mysterious—like God. It is one but can be separated into many colors. No one knows if light is made up of particles or waves. In addition light has many functions that makes it a good symbol for Jesus. Light helps us see things. Jesus gives us the truth about God and about life, our origin, and our destiny. Light guides us as we travel. Jesus guides us safely through life to our heavenly home. Light promotes growth and life. Jesus brings us everlasting life. Light warms and comforts. Jesus welcomes us and calms us. Light prevents crime. Jesus is goodness itself. Light dispels darkness, which stands for evil. Jesus pierces the darkness of sin and death and conquers them. All the darkness in the world cannot put out one candle flame. Jesus cannot be overcome by evil.”

    Jesus, illumine me.

    1. Jolie says:

      Wonderful! Thanks for this! I was also thinking of the of firepillar

  4. Lisa Dawn says:

    Realizing lately that having light shone into our lives is not always a comfortable thing, especially as it (He) reveals the ugliness that we can so easily hide in the darkness. But the reality is that until sin is brought into the light, it festers in the darkness. Having the depths of our sinful hearts revealed to us in the light is obviously not a fun thing but it is in the light that we truly experience life. And all this is best done in community, which is sometimes the hardest part. Maybe I can admit my weaknesses and my sin to myself and God, but when it’s put out there for others to see, it’s that much more humbling. I praise God for His Body, fellow Jesus followers who have accepted me in all my ugly sinfulness and have been willing to walk with me as I strive to become more like Christ. May the darkness not overcome us and may our sin not be given the power to continue and thrive in that darkness. We need each other as we allow these things to come into the light.

  5. Kellee says:

    This was such a timely message for me after a long day. We just got home from a week long vacation, with a lot of things going wrong today. Nothing earth shattering, just little thing upon little thing. What a precious reminder that Jesus is my Light at all times.

  6. Cecelia says:

    After a being at a wonderful 28 hr prayer and worship conference this weekend, I was on a spiritual high. I was overwhelmed by God’s love for me and ready to light sparks in my family. Today was the third day of a screeching/teething baby, making food, cleaning up, dealing with the other kids’ squabbles and I feel like the light I had has been all but extinguished. In three days of my ‘real’ life? All fire gone!? And then I read these verses and I bow low. For HE is my light. A light that can never be extinguished. I am once again overwhelmed by Gods love for me even in the midst of my less than stellar everyday.

  7. Miranda says:

    Appreciate all the scripture in this series!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Grateful for you, Miranda! Thanks for joining us today!


  8. Tiari says:

    After a social media binge last night, I was swallowed by the darkness of discontentment in my life and found myself longing for more. I overlooked the blessing of being called to serve in my home, longing to do “big” things for God as I see so many amazing women doing these days. But today I’m so grateful that He has not only reminded me hat He is the Light in my life, but that He IS the Light. When I pursue Him I have everything I need. In Him I have contentment with where I am and what I’m doing right here, right now. Praying that we as wives and mothers may find our satisfaction and contentment in simply being Daughters of The Most High and followers of Christ. May we rest in Him today and allow His light to give us sight to see that all we’re doing right now is enough for Him. Amen!

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Did the same thing last night as well, with a little online window shopping. But your words ring truth. God’s provision is perfect! He is ALL we need. Needed this reminder today.

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