The Light of the World
What a sad world we live in. Tragic events seem to occur all the time. There are earthquakes, famines, floods and other disasters. Many blame God for these things. Yet there are good things too. We have a measure of health and strength; we have peace, prosperity, friendship and family. Strangely God is not thanked for these things.
Have you noticed how easily men misuse the blessings they get from God? We tend to put them to the service of self and sin. This is what Adam did. God placed him in a paradise with everything he needed (Gen.2:8). Though Adam was God’s servant he enjoyed the friendship of his Maker too as he walked in the light of truth and righteousness. Adam delighted in all God’s works and his own work of keeping the garden was no toil but a labour of love.
Yet before long Adam gave heed to Satan who appeared in the guise of a serpent. He chose the path of rebellion against God and ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – even though God had said, “thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen.2:17). The darkness of sin and unbelief entered Adam’s soul and he lost the knowledge of God with which he had been created. From then on he hid from God and devoted himself to evil purposes. This has been the story of mankind ever since.
The wonderful thing is that God immediately shone a light into this darkness and has done so ever since. Adam learned of the Seed of the woman who by personal suffering would crush the serpent’s head (Gen.3:15). What a beautiful picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, dying at Calvary for the sins of His people and destroying “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Heb.2:14)!
Wherever you look in the Bible Christ appears as our light. He is the Star out of Jacob (Num.24:17), the Sun of righteousness (Mal.4:2) and the bright and morning star (Rev.22:16). He is truly “the light of the world” (John 8:12), a mighty Saviour shining in His saving grace upon sin-darkened lives.
When the gospel is blessed to us it is like a strong light entering a dark room. The dirt and mire are shown up. Things hidden in corners and long-forgotten are revealed. Do your sins trouble you? The sins of your heart as well as the sins of your hand? You must come to the light (John 3:20), repenting of your sins. God will give you “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2Cor.4:6).
When a sinner is converted to Christ there is a great change. Paul sums it up in this way: “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Eph.5:8). An obligation rests upon every Christian to “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1Pet.2:9) and this this can only be done by pursuing holiness.
How humbling it is to read the words which Jesus spoke to His disciples, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt.5:14)! Let us look to the Lord for salvation and seek to be among those who “shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life” (Phil.2:15,16).