Why Is God The Light Of The World?
For he [Christ] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14.
In her book, The Fourth Instinct, Arianna Huffington tells of the parents who brought a baby boy home from the hospital, joining an older sibling already in the family. The four-year-old sister, however, immediately requested to be alone with the little boy. The parents, though, were afraid that the sister might not handle the little infant with care. “Why do you want to be alone with him?” Unsatisfied, the parents ignored the request. But finally, after persistent requests, the mother agreed; however, she stayed outside within reach should the baby cry.
After a few moments she heard the voice of the little four-year-old as she whispered to the baby, “Tell me about God. I’m forgetting!”
Out of the mouths of babes! Presuming that babies all come from God, that little girl wanted to know. She was forgetting. Those words reflect the heart cries of so many of us today. “Tell me about God. I’m forgetting!”
If you were to look up into the starry hosts on a dark night and ask, “God, what are you like?” And you should hear a response, what do you think it would be?
Two clear statements come in response to that question, both found in the New Testament. There you will find that John, one of the twelve who walked with Jesus, said that God is love and God is light. The first predicate describes God’s relationship with us; the second describes the nature and character of God.
In John’s first letter, which was written towards the end of his life, John looks back and reflects, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). What a claim!
Seven centuries before Christ, Isaiah looked down through the centuries of time and told of one who would walk by the Sea of Galilee and follow the path of the Jordan River. He said, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2).
Jesus claimed to be that one. He said simply, “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12). But Jesus didn’t stop there. He made a second claim, even more bold in its implications. He said that if anyone would follow Him, he or she, likewise, would never walk in darkness. No one but God could make such a claim and back it up. That, of course, is the issue. If God is light, and Jesus claimed to come from the Father, then it should be no surprise that He likewise had that same quality.
Paul, the theologian of the New Testament, described the world as a kingdom of darkness; but he said that through faith in Jesus Christ, individuals move into a kingdom of light. Here’s how he put it: “For he [Christ] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13-14).
If you would doubt that light and darkness still battle for the souls of people, I would like you to read the messages that have come to us from more than 100 countries of the world. How to describe better the despair of drug users, the wretched loneliness of mates who have been deserted by the one who once vowed “to love, cherish, and protect ’til death us do part,” the burden of one who feels he can never find forgiveness for what he has done.
Thank God there is light today in a world of darkness. And He still rescues us from the kingdom of darkness and translates us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Resource reading: 1 John 1:5-7