Be the Light

Jesus declared, ‘I am the Light of the world ‘Jn. 8: 12. This is one of the great ‘I AM’ sayings in John’s Gospel. John introducing Jesus says ‘In Him was life and that life was the light of men’ Jn 1:4. And in Jn 1:9 ’The True Light that gives light to every man was coming into the world’.

God made a perfect world. The first man and the woman had the perfect relationship with the Lord. But because of their disobedience, they were separated from God. Spiritual darkness and death entered the world and human beings. In the Bible, the word ‘darkness ‘is used to describe sin, and all that resulted. Paul describes people without God – You were once darkness Eph. 5:8 darkened in understanding and separated from the life of God… due to the hardening of their hearts. Eph. 4:18.

But because of their disobedience, they were separated from God. Spiritual darkness and death entered the world and human beings.

The god of this age has blinded the minds … so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel. 2 Cor. 4: 4. This darkness pervades everywhere. We see it all around in every area of life. We know it in our lives too until the Lord touched us and transformed us.

So, God sent Jesus the true light, the light of the world to give light to those in darkness, to lighten everyone who turns to him. God who spoke light into the darkness at creation, now makes his light shine into the hearts of those who come to him. When a person receives Jesus, who is the life and light that enlightens that person. 2 Cor. 4: 6.

So those who were once darkness are light in the Lord, transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. What was lost in the fall is being restored, the abundant life is experienced, even as we wait for the final and full restoration.

Jesus said those who follow him will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. Jn. 8:12. As His disciples we are to walk in the way Jesus walked, guided by the Word of God, and enabled by the Holy Spirit. Jesus did this not for our personal benefit alone but that those who are lightened for God are to be light in the world.

Jesus said “You are the light of the world” Matt. 5:14-16. Followers of Jesus are light-bearers reflecting the light received from Him to the world around leading and showing the way to the True Light that is Jesus. Just like John was sent to bear witness to that light that through him all might believe, all those who received the light are to bear witness. This is the calling of every believer.

The purpose of the light is not to keep it hidden but that it is to give light to everyone around them. It is to be seen by all. The life of a believer should point others to God and bring glory and praise to him. While we may be helping each other in our fellowships but how will the world see the light and praise our Father in heaven?

Scriptures are full of instruction as to how by our conduct and word we are to be lights in our neighborhoods, in our places of work, communities, and nation. We are called and sent to go out into the corrupt, polluted society carrying the light-giving message so that those in darkness may come to the True Light that is Jesus.

We are called to declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into his wonderful light – 1 Pet 2:9

We are called to live as children of light, doing all that is good, righteous, and true. Eph 5:8-21

We are called to be holy – As light-bearers, God’s children being pure and blameless are to shine like stars holding out, and holding on to the Word of Life in this crooked and depraved world in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and society. Phil 2:15-16.

We are reminded to expect opposition – Light and darkness are opposed to each other. The world does not applaud those who walk in paths of truth and righteousness. So, living as children of light in this world of darkness is not easy. There is a price to pay. Remember what happened to those who followed the path of truth and righteousness? John the Baptist was beheaded because he spoke the truth, rebuked Herod of his wrongdoing. Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den because of his wholehearted devotion to his God. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown in the fiery furnace.

In the same way, we hear of those who paid the price in their places of work by foregoing promotions, transferred to remote places, alienated from their families, and so on. Are we hiding the light so that we don’t face ridicule, shame, and suffering? We are called to be the light of the world, the light-bearers. Are we ready to pay the price?

Let us then reflect, we, the believing community, where do we stand? Are we truly living as children of light? Are our lights shining brightly that people can see? Are we any different from those who do not know the Lord in the way we talk and behave? As we reflect, let us resolve and ask the Lord to help us be His light in the world as He expects us to be.

Mrs Vijaya Parmar is retired staff of UESI and resides in Bangalore.