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Jesus:  Light of the World

John 8:12-20

 

 

Jesus makes His bold claim of being the light of the world right in front of the temple during the big festival of tabernacles, with a great crowd gathered.  At night they would surround the temple mount with candelabras, and the atmosphere was illumined.  I believe it was at that time that Jesus spoke our text...I am the light of the world!  It was true 2,000 years ago when He said it, and still true today.

 

In the beginning, like now, Christ was part of the Godhead which said, Let there be light.  He was in the burning bush which spoke to Moses and that pillar of fire which led Israel thru the wilderness.  The Psalmist said, He is my light and my salvation.  He was the light of the world, born at night to dispel darkness with His light.  He was the bright light seen by disciples on a hillside at His transfiguration, and the light which blinded Saul the day he got saved.  And He is the light of heaven, where there is no need of sun or moon.  The Word of God is a lamp to our feet, and light to our path, and He is the Word, and I love the old hymn that says, "How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, stepping in the light!"

        Our world portrays Christianity as a leap of faith into the darkness, but the fact is, it's a step into the light!

 

Jesus illuminates the darkness.

v. 12        What is darkness?  Simply put, it is the absence of light.  If you walk into a dark room and you don't like it, it does no good to stand there and curse the darkness.  The best thing to do is to turn on a light, and then darkness flees.  Biblically speaking, darkness is a symbol of life without God, who is light.  To live without the knowledge of God and His Word is to walk in darkness...a spiritual darkness.

 

The world walks in 3 kinds of darkness:

1.     Mental/intellectual darkness.

Rom. 1 says they profess themselves to be wise, and are become fools, because they reject God and walk in darkness.

 

Man chooses to walk in darkness because to step into the light would expose him as the sinner that he is.  'Tis better to lurk in the shadows!

 

Man has always sought the answer to the 3 great questions:  Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going? 

 

The world has no good answers to these questions.  I'm no one special, I have no real purpose, and I'm going nowhere.  At death I will cease to exist.  That's not light, that's darkness, and people are sucked in like a black hole, having no direction, not knowing where their life is headed, unless a beacon appears on a hillside, a lighthouse, showing them the way!  And if only you can answer those 3 questions, then it matters not if you never even passed grade school, you have more light than all the enlightened PhD’s in the world!

 

They profess themselves wise and are become fools!

 

I know I am the direct, special creation of God, made in His image.  And I was made for the distinct purpose of bringing glory to Him.  Where am I going?  First of all, somewhere, for I have an eternal soul that will go on somewhere, depending upon what I do with the sacrifice of Christ!

 

I see art and know there was an artist.

I see a building and know there was a builder.

I see creation and know there is a Creator.

 

ill.--man has built models of our solar system, to scale.  They are really quite fascinating when you see them in motion.  If you tried to convince an atheist that that model resulted from an explosion, he would never believe you.  And I say, if you can't believe that, how can you believe the real thing came about that way? 

        They walk in darkness because they want to.

2 Peter 3:5
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old...

Mental darkness…

 

2.     Moral darkness.

The world calls good evil and evil good.  They scoff at things morally good, and praise low morality.

 

Whoopi Goldberg defended Roman Polanski saying what he did wasn't 'rape-rape' because he used a drug and didn't hold the girl down. 

 

Washington D.C. is a mockery in scandal after scandal.  And lest you think this is just some politically partisan comment, I will use some conservatives as negative examples:  Even while Newt Gingrich was trying to take down Bill Clinton for his infidelity he himself was having an adulterous affair.  So let's add hypocrisy to our immorality?  Rudy Giuliani left his wife on her cancer deathbed to marry another he had been having an affair with.  Is this morality?  And are we guilty of calling evil good when we give these guys a pass simply because they are political conservatives?

 

ill.--kids YouTube their fights at recess and we call it pecking order, or survival of the fittest...only the strongest survive.  Might makes right? 

        Light and darkness do not mix.  They are not tolerant of one another.  If we want light in the schoolyard, then you'd better allow that light in the classroom!  What we believe affects how we behave.  We have taught darkness, therefore our kids are walking in darkness.

 

I'm glad you are here today.  Show me your Bibles.  We are here today to turn on the light, and walk in that light!

 

mental darkness/moral darkness...

 

3.     Spiritual darkness.

The word light is thrown around a lot, especially in religious circles.

The New Age movement is a mixture of pantheism, mysticism, and the occult.  And they say there's no personal god, but that god is what you want him to be.  Now, they talk a lot about LIGHT.  It's not true light, is the artificial, counterfeit light of satanic forces.  All that glitters is not God!

Likewise, many 'churches' today would say Jesus is the light, which sounds good, but then they base their beliefs on tradition instead of the Lamp of God, and they walk down dark paths of works salvation and social improvement, instead of walking in the light of Jesus' own words which beg us to face the negatives of sin and judgment, hell and punishment, in order to dispel true darkness and walk in true light.

 

Meanwhile, the few faithful churches which remain may preach the true light, but seem to have a lot of members who are professing Christians who DO hide their light under a bushel and DO let Satan blow out their light...so how in the world are we going to get the world to see the light of Jesus?

        God opens a door for us to witness and we go out like a light!

 

God has deposited the light in 3 places:  In the Scriptures, in the Savior, and in the Saints.  [truly saved persons]

 

Scriptures:

Since His Word is a light, every time we speak it and preach it we are turning on the lights!

 

Savior:

Jesus is the Word, and is the light of the world:

John 9:5

    [5] As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

 

Without Him, it’s a dark place, that is, unless He shines thru us!

 

Saints:

Jesus looked at His crew of common fishermen and blue collar disciples and said, “You are the light of the world!”  The subject of His sentence was in the emphatic tense, meaning, You and you alone are the light of the world!  That's funny, since the Greeks were known as the enlightened ones, not these commoners.  Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato had already given their full teachings, and the Greek's art and architecture gave them placement as the most advanced society.  So how ironic is it when Jesus then turns to this hairy bunch of Duck Dynasty looking characters and says, You and you alone are the light of the world...I'm depositing the light in you so you can go out to a dark world and illuminate! 

 

I’d rather be a

Redneck Christian

Than anything I know

There’s nothing like

A Redneck Christian

With a Christian love to show

I’m walking in the grand old highway

And I’m telling ev’rywhere I go

That I’d rather be a

Redneck Christian

Than anything I know

 

Why were they the light of the world?  Not because they in some way produced light, but rather, because they reflected HIS light!  Even better, the light is INSIDE of us, so I like to picture myself not as a mirror reflecting light, but as a glass globe, out of which the light can shine.  I don't want people to see me, but Jesus in me.  So it is not the quality of the globe, but the quality of the light that men see.

Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

When Jesus told the disciples that THEY were the light of the world He said that a city set on a hill cannot be hid.

Like moths to a flame, this world is drawn to the light…it’s hard to resist…it’s part of man’s nature to seek out truth and fill the God shaped void in his heart.

 

Now, many people love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil…but some are seeking the truth.  Will they see your light, set on a hill?

 

Here’s how it happened.  Man started in the light, for God is light, but chose to sin, and plunged himself into darkness.  Humanism says the opposite, that man starts in darkness, but is getting better and better, and closer and closer to the light.  We know better.  Sinful mankind is in darkness, but we are to be the light of the world, showing them the way out.

 

These are great days in which we live, because they are dark days, and that's when our light can really shine.

"Pastor, pray for me, I'm one of the only Christians where I work."  "OK, I'll pray for you."  "Yeah, pray that I get a different job."

        What?

ill.--that's like a light bulb that doesn't want to go to a dark place.  What if every light bulb wanted to be a part of the display at Lowe’s?  They would all be useless, and none would have an impact, stand out, or get noticed, or make any difference at all!  Quit whining and start shining!

 

John 19:38

    And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus…  [Nicodemus came by night…Nic at night!]

 

Nowhere does the Bible teach ‘infiltration’, but rather ‘proclamation’, which is taking our stand.  Jesus took His stand for us on Calvary, will you now take yours?

 

2 Cor. 4:3-4

    [3] But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: [4] In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

 

Like fireflies across your yard in the evening, Christians are left behind to shine as the lights in this world.  The first Bible some people in your life will ever read will be the Bible of your life.  The first sermon they will ever hear will be a sermon in shoes…you!

 

‘You are writing a gospel, a chapter each day

by the deeds that you do, by the words that you say

men read what you’re writing, whether faithless or true

Hey, what is the gospel according to you?’

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