December 16: Light of the World, The Christ of Christmas

Read John 8:12-30

“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).

John’s gospel is known for recording many “I am” statements from Jesus. He is the bread of life (6:35), the light of the world (8:12), the door (10:7, 9), the good shepherd (10:11, 14), the resurrection and the life (11:25), the way, the truth, and the life (14:6), and the true vine (15:1, 5).

Perhaps like no other holiday, Christmas is noted for its lights. Festive strings of lights adorn Christmas trees and outline houses. These lights are part of the season. Meanwhile, Christ’s claim that He is the “light of the world” encourages us to think beyond the red, blue, green, yellow, and white bulbs that dominate the evening terrain at Christmastime. His illumination of this world reminds us that:

  • The world is dark without Christ’s presence. The darkness of sin is not just a dominant theme in the Scriptures. It is a discouraging reality in this world. But Christ’s presence enables us to get a clear view of righteousness that, like even a small light in a dark room, provides a stark contrast with evil.
  • The light of Christ is to be followed. During the time of the Exodus, God led His people with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. In other words, God used light to safely direct the way of His people during the nighttime hours. They had to be careful to follow that light. Things are no different today. If you want to be able to safely journey through this world, you must follow Christ.
  • The light of Christ must be reflected. Not only did Jesus make this “light of the world” statement about Himself, He also made it about His followers. He pointed out that “(We) are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14-16). Through our good works, we are to illuminate the niche of the world where we are present and have influence. The desired result is that others “may see (our) good deeds and praise (our) Father in heaven.”

Don’t let the lights on your tree or those on your house to be the only ones to shine this Christmas!

sbk

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