When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8: 12)
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our world seems to be in a pretty dark place. Crimes of all kinds, natural disasters, political divisions, and plots of terrorism litter our cultural landscape. In my office and maybe between your four walls, family members are at odds with each other; they have a very strange way of showing “love.” Kids are acting out (they always have), and parents question their own competence. Deep losses cut through the hearts of millions. Suicide is rampant. Individuals spend their lives looking back at their mistakes and condemning themselves while feeling condemned by others.
OK, enough! It’s true. Many of the circumstances in which we live are way less than ideal. However, as believers in Christ, our circumstances do not define our experience. I’ve heard folks respond to the question, “How are you doing?” with, “Pretty good, under the circumstances.” If that individual were a follower of Christ, the very next question might legitimately be, “What are you doing under your circumstances?”
External events may tempt us to discouragement. However, internal events determine the attitudes with which we live.
Jesus Christ spoke to that fact when He addressed the crowd right after the incident in which the woman was caught (alone?) in adultery. Jesus He had held up a spiritual mirror to the accusers: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, they hung their heads and walked away. Then he turned to the woman, asking, “Well, where are they, those who pointed their fingers and jeered at you in condemnation?” The woman stated the obvious: “None are here now.”
It was at that point that Jesus turned to the onlookers and spoke. The context of what people say is critical to understanding what they mean. Within the scenario just described, He reassured the people who had just witnessed this unforgettable scene, “When you follow Me, you won’t live in darkness. I am Light, and when I am inside you, you’ll be living in the light. It doesn’t matter what’s happening around you or what a mess you’ve made of things.” He was explaining what He had just demonstrated. This woman’s situation was really bad. She was jerked right out of a sinful act and brought out in shame to be humiliated and exposed. The only One Who had any room to talk walked right into that situation, was Light to her, and not only shielded her from their judgment but offered her a new life.
Jesus offers the same to you and me in this dark world – either the dark circumstances created by others or by the oppressive darkness of the consequences of our own bad choices. And Jesus says, “Darkness begone! I, the Light, have come.” If you have said yes to Christ in your life, then Light lives within you. When you turn on the Light, darkness has no choice but to flee. You walk into your dark home and flip on that light switch, darkness is gone immediately.
The implications of Jesus’ bold statement are much greater than a sweet little metaphor or children’s song that Jesus is the Light of the world. Whether the frame of reference is this darkness-filled world or whether the application is more individual and personal to you, this Light is a game-changer. The situation may remain the same, but YOU are different in it!.
Wow, what a gift – to carry The Light inside you! Isn’t that crazy-amazing?
Lord, please make Yourself at home in me. I open every door of my heart and of my life so that Your Light may permeate me. I give You full control. Then, O God, may I please reflect Your Light into the dark situations experienced by others as I reach out in Love to them?