JESUS LIGHT OF THE WORLD
At the end of this month, thousands of people will celebrate the festival of lights. For us, Christians, we are eternally celebrating a Festival of light. For Christ Jesus, the eternal Light of the world has come 'to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace'. (Lk 1:79). He leads us into triumph over darkness as He guides us to yearn for Him & to learn from Him how to defeat the powers of darkness through the battle in which we are more than conquerors through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
JESUS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
The Bible begins with the words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens & the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters (Gen 1:1,2). Darkness is an invisible yet stark reality that only God can really dispel.
The first words of God recorded in the Scriptures are in Gen 1:3 which states, Then God said “Let there be light”. Light representing day as separate from night (vs4,5); lights to rule the day and night, and to be for signs and seasons, for days and years (vs14,15,16). Light in every form brings a ray of hope and brightness.
St John begins his gospel by stating, “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn 1:3-5). Without God there is absence of light, of hope, of joy, of life itself.
The Jews of Jesus’ time struggled to comprehend and accept Jesus as the light. We the Christians of today are no different. We too resist in many ways the fact that we are still far from the light.
- BATTLE WITH EVIL- The light that Jesus brings is far beyond what anyone can dare to explain. He himself is the light that comes to help us become aware of satan and all that is evil. “Jesus was the true light which gives light to every man who comes into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own did not receive Him” (Jn 1:9-11).
“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19). We prefer to justify our deeds rather than let Jesus be our justification.
Let us yearn and learn to be humble and alert to let His light shine for us.
Jesus Christ is, indeed the Light of the world, and it is He who brings us to know the glory of God who is pure and holy. He is eager to show forth His power in and through our lives. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light” (Eph 5:8).
- BATTLE WITH SIN- Even today, we still hope that no one is watching some things we do and are relieved that no one can see some things that go on in our minds and hearts. We still prefer the darkness to the light. If we truly shun sin, then the image of God will be seen in us, yet, we allow the ‘god of this age’ to blind our minds lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who has conquered sin, and who is the image of God, should shine on us.
Let us yearn & learn to be sober & vigilant so that His light always shines through us.
‘For it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of true knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ’ (II Cor 4:6).
- BATTLE WITH IGNORANCE- Light is not tangible; we cannot touch it, but we can experience its effects. It pervades all that surrounds it. While it brightens up the vicinity, it also dispels the darkness around. Jesus came that the darkness of sin and our ignorance about God and His true nature be removed.
Jesus, the living word of God, is indeed eager to teach us how the Father wants us to live. As simple as it may sound, all we need to do, is allow Him to shine His light and give us wisdom in every situation of our lives. He is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path, if only we will stop running away from the light.
Let us yearn, to be still in His presence and let His light shine upon us always and everywhere.
Let us yearn and learn to be steadfast according to His purpose and let His light shine within us.
- BATTLE WITH SELFISHNESS- Jesus advises his disciples, ”If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light (Mt 6:22). He is not speaking of lust or about His disciples looking at the wrong things. If we examine the gospel of Matthew, chapter 6 and the context of this verse , it is clearly evident that Jesus is asking us to check the goals of our lives. What have we set our eyes to achieve in life? We need to examine what we are seeking most for ourselves. If Jesus is truly the light of our world, then all our selfish desires will be dealt with. He will teach us how to keep our eyes fixed on Him, our lives centred on His purpose. He will work on our character and show us to be set on attaining His wisdom, His grace, His mercy, His provision, His direction at all times, in all circumstances.
Let us yearn and learn to be sensitive to His voice and so let His light shine around us.
- BATTLE WITH SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS- As we yield to the Lord of light and live by His beatitudes, we will indeed be sons and daughters of light leading others to Jesus, the ultimate light. We will hear that the same Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12) also says, “you are the light of the world” The more we still ourselves to hear the promptings of His Spirit, the more our live will radiate His love, His vision, His mission. We become conscious of the presence and power of Jesus that beckons us to lead other to the light.
Let us yearn and learn to be eager to make every effort to let His light shine among us.
- BATTLE WITH PETTY DIVISIVENESS- Light has a unique quality of revealing what is otherwise unseen and supposedly invisible. As the word of God penetrates our lives, and as the presence and power of Jesus, the light of the world grows stronger, He invites us to let the warmth of His love keep us united with one another. St Paul urges us, “Let love be without hypocrisy” (Rom 12:9). We ought to love one another with genuine and sincere love that shines forth as a bright witness of the loving God we have come to know and love and serve. “If we walk in the light, as He is the light, we have fellowship with one another” (I Jn 1:7). Surely then the world will say of us as they said of the early Church, “See how they love one another”. His light enables us to be the light of the world- a witness of unity rather than division; of peace and harmony rather than strife and petty jealousy.
Let us finally yearn and learn to be diligent with His grace so that His light will ultimately overcome us.
- BATTLE WITH HATRED AND ANGER- Whenever light shines, there are also shadows formed unless we are looking towards the light. We are called to look to Jesus Himself always, only then can we grow to the full stature of a mature Christian who radiates the light of Christ even in the face of persecution or injustice, of cruelty or hardships, of unreasonable demands or false accusations. Jesus still beckons us to remain in the light. St John reiterates this very strongly when he says “He who says he is the light, and hates his brother is in darkness until now. He who loves His brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (I Jn 2:9-11).
Finally, in our daily battle with the powers of evil, of sin and of ignorance, of selfishness and self- righteousness, of petty divisiveness, hatred and anger; may Jesus the eternal Light of the world banish every form of darkness and burn away anything that is not of the light for His greater glory.