Jesus Is The Light Of The World

clouds with rays of light shining through

The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Light Of The World. From long before His birth, there are prophecies in the Bible that speak of Him as the light.

Shortly after Jesus’ birth, His parents presented Him at the temple according to Jewish law. An old man named Simeon, who had been waiting all of his life for the arrival of the Messiah, recognized the baby Jesus as the fulfillment of these prophecies and welcomed Him joyfully.

“For my eyes have seen Your salvation. You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples – a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory to Your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-33 (CSB)

Jesus Is The Light Of The World

John the Baptist was sent to announce Jesus’ ministry on earth. He taught repentance and baptized people, preparing them for the coming of Jesus. He knew what his mission was and he did his work humbly and diligently.

He (John the Baptist) was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. John 1:9 (HCSB parenthesis mine)

After Jesus had started doing miracles and forgiving sins, the Pharisees started finding fault with everything He did, and questioned Him at every opportunity.

The public didn’t know what to make of Him and they were amazed at what they saw Him do. Many of them believed in him but were afraid to let their belief be public.

Jesus spoke to them to tell them that if they truly believed in Him, they would profess their belief openly, and not be concerned with praise, criticism, or any other repercussions from other people. 

“I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (CSB)

I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness. John 12:46

Jesus is the light of the world

The Light Of The World In The Old Testament

I, Yahweh, have called You for a righteous purpose, and I will hold You by Your hand. I will keep You and appoint You to be a covenant for the people and a light to the nations. Isaiah 42:6-7

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in  the land of darkness. Isaiah 9:2

 In Your light we will see light. Psalm 36:9 (b)

Looking to the Old Testament, hundreds of years before Christ came to earth as a man, we see that He was already spoken of as the light of the world. Prophets spoke of Him, and when we look at the many Bible prophecies that have actually been fulfilled and are now actual history, they help us to believe, even now. 

The glory of God was shown as light all the way back to Moses’ time, when God revealed Himself as light. When Moses had been with God, his face shone so that he had to put a veil over his face so the people could look at him.

Light was a part of the Israelite celebration of The Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot). This celebration was one of the most important, and the most joyful of the Jewish festivals. The Israelite people would make pilgrimage to Jerusalem to honor and celebrate this Feast of God.

One of the ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles was the Temple-Lighting Ceremony, which was an elaborate nightly celebration that involved lighting a huge menorah, torch dances, and brightly lit streets.

This celebration commemorated the Shekinah Glory of God coming down and lighting the fire upon the altar in Solomon’s Temple shortly after it was built. But the celebration also foretold the return of the Shekinah Glory in the coming of the Messiah.

It should have been no surprise, then when, the day after the Light Festival, Jesus taught in the the temple (see John 8:12, above), announcing “I am the light of the world…”

The Pharisees were well-educated and very familiar with the prophecies throughout the Old Testament, but didn’t realize that the Messiah had already arrived, and He was this man, Jesus. They had expected His arrival to earth to be that of a king’s arrival, not for Him to come in such a humble way.

When they heard Him speak at the festival, they called Him a liar and an imposter.

Jesus is the light of the world

What Does Light Of The World Mean?

Everything exposed by the light is made clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Ephesians 13-14 (a)

We all know how much easier it is to see in the light than in the dark. Sometimes an object or a subject just needs to have light shed onto it for complete clarity. In the Bible, light is spoken of as leading to goodness, righteousness, and truth. And Jesus came to bring that light to the world.

He is the answer to so many things that were difficult to understand in the years before Him. He brought truth and clarity into the world with His light, overcoming sin and death and darkness.

We are free because Jesus is the light of the world, and He took our sin away on the cross once and for all, with no further need for the animal sacrifices that had been required up until that time.

For the fruit of the light results in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – discerning what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5: 9-10

Jesus is the light of the world

Light And Darkness In The Bible

Light and dark are complete opposites. When there is light, it’s hard to imagine complete darkness, because light does away with the darkness. Biblically, sin and evil are hidden in darkness, and are revealed by the shining the light of Jesus on them.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. John 3:19

That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it. John 1:5

But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness – how deep is that darkness! Matthew 6:23

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  Isaiah 5:20

Jesus is the light of the world

Characteristics Of Jesus As Light

Jesus was and is completely good all of the time. He is referred to as “the Light” and even referred to Himself as the light of the world several times in Scripture.

While He was on earth with the disciples, he taught them that they were becoming sons of light by believing in Him and becoming His followers. When we believe in Him, the light shines in our hearts to reveal God’s glory.

The following verse was spoken by an elderly man named Simeon when Jesus’ parents presented Him in the temple. Simeon, who may have been a priest, had recognized the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy – Jesus as the light. Read the passage just below:

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6

Everything exposed by the light becomes clear, for what makes everything clear is light. Therefore it is said, “Get up, sleeper, and rise up from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you.” Ephesians 5: 13-14

While you have the light, believe in the light so that you may become sons of light.”  Jesus said this, then went away and hid from them. John 12:36

As Christian believers, we can look forward to the return of Jesus and eternity with Him. The book of Revelation contains lots of information about what we can expect, and there are many interpretations of what is meant by much of Revelation.

Although we may not know now what God means by it all, we can trust that one day we will find out, when it comes to pass. There will be a new city, called New Jerusalem, and Jesus will be there, lighting up the whole place. Because Jesus is the light of the world.

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s glory illuminates it, and its lamp is the Lamb (Jesus). Revelation 21:23

Jesus is the light of the world

What Is The Light Of Life?

I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life. John 8:12

The light of Jesus means life – eternal life – for those who believe in Him. He passed His light on to all present and future believers so that we can shine that light to overcome the darkness of the world.

Psalms foretells of Christians carrying the light of Jesus, and as we carry that light it does not go out because it is fed by the fountain of life – God, the creator of every living thing. Because God is our ultimate light and our eternal salvation, we have the light of life, and with that we need never fear the darkness.

For with you is life’s fountain. In your light we will see light. Psalm 36:9

Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Jesus is the light of the world

Who Is The Light Of The World Now?

Each Christian believer is to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and be a light to the world. This is the command: to be a light to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. And we need to start right where we are, being prepared to take the light wherever God leads us.

For this is what the Lord has commanded us: I have made you a light for the Gentiles to bring salvation to the ends of the earth. Acts 13:47

No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8

But you, brothers, are not in the dark! Thessalonians 5:5

Jesus is the light of the world

But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

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