Discovering Light: Jesus Illuminates Life
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
One of the amazing things about life is the fact that we know so little about some things which are very common, and we take those things for granted–not sensing how very important they are to our survival.
Light is a typical example. What is light? You may respond, “That’s easy. Light is…” When you stop and think about it, a definition of light from either a practical or a scientific viewpoint isn’t easy. People once thought that light was something that traveled from a person’s eye to an object and then back again. If anything blocked the rays from the eye, the object could not be seen.
In 1666 the English scientist Sir Isaac Newton started shedding light on the nature of light when he discovered that white light is really made of many colors. About the same time, a Dutch physicist contended that light consists of waves, and proposed a wave theory to explain the behavior of light. Christian Huygens’ theory held up for about a century, but then in 1864 the English physicist James Clark Maxwell proposed the mathematical theory of electromagnetism which became the basis of modern scientific data.
However, the scientific definitions are not altogether satisfactory. Say, for instance, if your lights go out and you find yourself in a very dark room. You are not satisfied with a theory–you simply want a match or a candle. Forget the theory! That’s the way many are today. Regardless of the explanation, they simply want light for their lives.
Plainly stated, light in the world falls into three categories–natural light, as the sun, moon and stars; artificial light, which is another form of energy; and spiritual light. The Bible has a great deal to say about light and what it does to darkness. John, writing the introduction to his Gospel, pictures Jesus Christ as the light of the world, who came into a world of darkness. John says that the true light is Jesus Christ, who will give spiritual light to every man. Christ Himself said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
One of the most practical definitions of light is simply that it embraces the cessation of darkness. Actually that definition will not hold much water scientifically, but in simple terms, it does tell us something of the impact of Jesus Christ in the world. Incidentally, Christ was not the first to talk about light in a spiritual sense. Others before Him had described the world as in a spiritual darkness, but no other had been so bold or daring as to say, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life…” From a pragmatic viewpoint either Jesus Christ was deceived and a deceiver, or else He brought something into this world that gives us direction and purpose for living.
If you doubt the spiritual darkness in our world today, I would invite you to look over my shoulder sometime as I read the letters that come to my desk. Few thinking men and women would deny the fact that spiritual darkness is just as real as the darkness that shrouds planet earth on a moonless night when a storm covers the stars overhead.
How about it, friend? Have you discovered the light that Christ can bring a life? Remember He said, “I am the light of the world.” And, that you can discover for yourself.
Resource reading: 1 John 1.