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Friday, August 15, 2014

I am the Light of the World

By Rick Blumenberg  / @rickblumenberg
According to John, the Gospel writer (John 8:12), these words were spoken by Jesus when he was in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. He had been teaching in the temple but the Pharisees refused to listen and even heckled him, apparently trying to distract people from giving him their attention. Here was the Son of God, who had come into the world to bring desperately needed light, but they refused to listen and even tried to stop other people from hearing him.
When Jesus said “I am the light of the world,” he didn’t mean the religious world. He also didn’t mean only the world of the Jews. He meant the whole world—not even limited to planet earth. He could have been light to the Pharisees. He came to bring them light, but apparently they preferred their darkness.
He went on to say “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.” Jesus Christ neither leads into darkness nor leaves us in darkness. The word “Walk” implies something that is continuing. Now we know that sometimes even Christ-followers find themselves in darkness—tragedy strikes, disappointment comes, people we depend on fail us—but if we continue to follow Jesus he always leads us out of the darkness into his brilliant light. And when we find the darkness closing in we need not be afraid. God never allows the dark periods in our lives to be wasted, but uses them all to teach us things we can’t learn in the light or perhaps to show us how much we can trust him when those dark periods invade.
Jesus also said, “Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” Sometimes when life brings those dark periods we learn we can trust God in the darkness, knowing there is no darkness to which Christ cannot bring the light of life. And the light he brings is powerful, mind-blowing, inexpressible light. But Jesus took this analogy a step farther when he introduced an entirely new concept.
In Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus said to his disciples “You are the light of the world”! What an amazing thing to say! Not only is Jesus the Light of the World, but you too, if you are a follower of Jesus, are light as well. We not only have the light, we are the light! Everywhere God’s people go we take the light of Christ!
His financial light overcomes poverty.
His emotional light overcomes despair.
His educational light overcomes ignorance.
His spiritual light overcomes sin and death and hell.
I could go on and on for a long time, but suffice it to say, God’s people take the light of Christ wherever we go. We not only walk in the light but we are the light of the world because Jesus Christ lives in us, lighting up our lives with his truth, wisdom, and guidance, so that His light also shines through us! His light becomes our light and we take it wherever we go, whether it be local or international or somewhere in between.
The darkest places in the world are the places where the light of Jesus Christ is not allowed to shine. But there is no wall, no barrier and no border that can block the prayers of God’s holy people. Jesus taught us to pray for God’s Kingdom to come and God’s Will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” We can change the world for good even in places we cannot go by using this all-powerful tool we call prayer to light up the world’s dark places.
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s 
My View from Tanner Creek.”


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