11 Jun I Am the Light of the World: John 8:12-30
“Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
Some years ago, I noticed my health deteriorating every winter. My kids joked that I lived on the weather app always daydreaming about being somewhere sunny as months of dark rainy grey days piled up one after another. My wife joked that I was “solar powered” because my health was much improved once the summer sun finally arrived. Once it did, I studied outside, ate my meals outside, drove around with the top off my Jeep, and as long was the sun was up I was outside under it.
Not surprisingly, my doctor told me that I was basically allergic to the winter. My body needed sunshine to be healthy. And, I’m not alone. Numerous people struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder. A friend of mine who grew up in Barrow, Alaska told me that they would go upwards of two months without seeing the sun during the winter. As a result, the rates of violent crime, depression, suicide, and substance abuse skyrocket as the darkness in the world seems to increase the darkness in the soul.
Whenever we see the light, we are supposed to remember that Jesus is the spiritual light of this dark world. Practically, there are numerous functions and benefits of light.
One, light brings life. Things grow in the light and Jesus brings us life and grows in us spiritual life.
Two, light illuminates a path. This explains why in the ancient times, travelers would walk with a lamp, while today we have headlights on our cars. Jesus lights up our path through this world into God’s Kingdom.
Three, light provides safety. This is why little kids want to sleep with the light on, and also explains why when the power goes out in a major city for days, crime spikes as people use darkness to hide evil. Jesus provides for us a comforting safety by showing us where danger lurks and how to walk in wisdom around it.
Four, light brings health. In the ancient world of the Egyptians, the sun god Ra was worshipped for its healing power. Today, people from all over the nation and world descend each winter on Scottsdale, Arizona where I pastor. They come to escape the long dark winters and spend some time in the sun for their health.
Jesus is the live-giving healing presence of God in our life. In calling Himself the light of the world, Jesus is reminding us that just as much as our body and world needs the sun, so our soul needs Him!
As you turn on the lights in your home or in your car or stop to warm yourself in the sun, don’t forget to remind yourself that Jesus is the light of the world.