“Again 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
In the Old Testament, God’s people were delivered from slavery in Egypt to freedom by God’s power. To guide them through their wilderness wanderings toward their homeland, God sent a pillar of fire to guide them at night. To follow the light was literally to follow the Lord.
To celebrate all of this, the Jewish people celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles (also called the Feast of Booths) each year. The Temple would be lit up with large candelabras that could be seen from miles around.
One year during this holiday, Jesus stood up and declared Himself to be the light of the world for, “Whoever follows me…” There are five things we can learn from Jesus’ word.
One, to follow the light is to follow the Lord. What Jesus is talking about is a relationship where He is the leader and we are the follower who sticks close to Him.
Two, believing in Jesus is the starting line, and we need to follow Him to the finish line. The Bible often uses the language of our “walk” with God which is all about an ongoing friendship with Jesus headed toward Home.
Three, Jesus is the light for the globe and not just a group. Most religions are only concerned with their people group. Jesus is the global God who is for all nations, races, times, places, languages, and culture of people.
Four, this world is filled with spiritual and moral darkness. What passes as enlightenment is often in God’s eyes rebellion, sin, and folly. Isaiah 5:20 speaks of our current cultural crisis saying, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…”
Five, light is overt; darkness is covert. To walk in the light with Jesus is to be honest and forthcoming. To walk in the darkness without Jesus is to be dishonest and sneaky. In another book he pens, John says in 1 John 1:7 “…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 cleanses us from all sin.”
Are you walking in the light with Jesus? Is there any area of your life that remains in the darkness and needs to be brought into God’s light?