Jesus the Light by dfhercbml

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									Jesus the Light
The theme of Light is quite a profound one. One of God's first recorded creative
statements was 'Let there be light' (Gen 1:3)

It is in so many respects a germinal statement about the whole of redemption, Christ is
at work as the Word of God bringing revelation and understanding.

Those who are seated in darkness are given the opportunity to see a great Light;
illumination comes to those who live in the shadow-world. (Matt 4:16)

1.     A key verse for our theme is John 8:12 - 'I am the Light of the world'

In the background of this text, we have the feast of tabernacles (7:37). At the end of
this feast, an array of candelabras would be lit in the court of the temple. The rabbis
who participated in the feast would then dance around these candelabras. Both the
candelabras and the dancing created quite a spectacle for those attending the
feast. Jesus could well have used this occasion to teach on this particular subject. The
Jewish candelabras only lit the court of the tabernacle, but He would be the light for
the entire world.

2.     Some qualities of Light

Light is energy, specifically 'electro-magnetic radiation, a stream of waves and particles.
(This energy can be used e.g. light a fire, create warmth)

Light has a luminance, a brightness factor ... it can shine and give illumination.

Light is visible, there is a certain obviousness about it ... it can be hard to hide. (The
blackouts of the WW2) Light is made to be seen.

Light is virtually limitless in certain of its qualities. It can shine great distances in the
dark; just look at the stars in the sky. Some of the starlight we are seeing today began
to travel thousands of years ago!

Jesus is all of these things and more. Powerful, bright, visible and limitless. Hebrew
declares that Jesus was the "brightness of God's glory." Hebrews 1:3. 2 Corinthians 4:6
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

3.     Some obvious actions of Light

It dispels darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. When we turn on the light, darkness
disappears. As such it has become an indispensable part of our modern lives, power cuts
in major urban areas create absolute chaos today: -

It illuminates objects - both good and bad. You turn on the light to both see what is
there. Psalm 109:5 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." As such
Light can reveal truth and it can expose error. It is understandable that those who
commit evil love the cover of darkness. (John 3:20)
It enables sight. - Without light, we are blind. Ephesians 5:14 "Wherefore he saith,
Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee
light." Jesus said, "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not
might see; and that they which see might be made blind." (John 9:39).

(Again this title so perfectly fits Jesus - He is the one who turns the darkness into Light;
He is the one who exposes, challenges and reveals the truth; in Him we have sight - for
in Him Faith and revelation come together. He is the Godhead made known, the shining
forth, the express image of the Godhead. See Hebrews 1:3 ('radiance ... apaugasma';
the brightness, the shining forth; like the rays that make the Light and the warmth of
the Sun known to us. 'Express image ... character; the engraving, the exact
representation; the visible presentation of the invisible God) This is why Jesus Christ is
the light of the world. In him, we see the truth about God. In him, the love of the
creator is revealed.)

4.    The challenge for us

He is the Light OF THE WHOLE WORLD - In our opening text, Jesus describes Himself as
the light of the world, not just for those who believe, not just for the Church, but for
all. This challenges us to have a mission heart. To be constantly looking for those places
where men and woman sit in darkness, for those dark places where we can shine. (Eph
6:12)

We are to be REFLECTORS OF HIS LIGHT. - 1 Thessalonians 5:5 "Ye are all the children of
light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." Philippians
2:15 "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the
midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
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."

Cell Questions

1.    What's the most fun thing you have done with Light?
2.    How important is Light to our lives and that of the natural world?
3.    What does this tell us about Jesus - the Light of the World?
4.    What does God's declaration - 'let there be Light' suggest to you?
5.    How can we be 'reflectors' and 'mirrors' of God's Light?
6.    What could you do this week to improve your 'shine'?

								
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