Summary: # 25 in Series. Jesus proclaims himself to be the light of the world.
At the beginning of Christ’s ministry Matthew makes the connection with the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy when he says, (Matt 4:16) “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
John in writing his gospel declared concerning Christ (John 1:4-5) “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. (5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
Later in explaining why people are condemned who reject the light of Christ John stated (John 3:19-20) “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.”
We are examining not only His credentials as the light but …
Secondly, His Claim To Be The Light.
It is worthy of note that Jesus is not simply saying that he was “a” light to the world or that he was “another” light to the world. Jesus is not saying that He is holding the light or that He has the light or even that He is the way to the light. He is declaring that He is the one and only light of the world.
Although analogies could be made to light in general and they would be true, I believe that Jesus had a particular light in mind. He made his declaration, “I am the light of the world” if not standing in front of the candelabra of the Feast of the Taber-nacles, they are at the very least very fresh in everyone’s mind. He is declaring I am the Shekinah glory that these candelabras symbolize. He is drawing their attention back to the cloud and the pillar of fire in the wilderness and He was saying, “I was the one who with you then. I was the one who protected you from Pharaoh. I was the one who guided you through the wilderness. I was the one who enveloped the tabernacle. I AM the Shekinah glory.”
I want us to consider for just a few moments the presence of the cloud and the pillar of God, and it’s importance to the children of Israel.
•It symbolized God’s Presence.
The biblical record in the book of Exodus, reveals how the two pillars which guided the people of Israel marked the presence of God in a dramatic way. In Exodus 13:21 we read, “And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night.”
We read of the way in which God spoke from the cloud and that sometimes He broke forth from the cloud in judgment upon the sins of the people (Ex. 13:21-22). At no time during their wandering in the wilderness did the people of Israel forget that the presence of God was with them every step of the way.
Jesus as the light of the world assures us of the presence of God, too. He is our constant companion throughout our lives. Christ promised His disciples (Heb 13:5) that He would “never leave them or forsake them”, and He is true to His word. No matter how alone you may feel today, no matter how many people have let you down and abandoned you, Christ is there right by your side. He is never so near as when we need Him the most, and He’s only a prayer away. As the light of the world, Jesus assures us of God’s presence.