Summary: How to let Jesus illuminate the dark times in my life.
We’ve been in this series “Jesus in Blue Jeans” to emphasize that Jesus came to help us with our every day problems. He doesn’t just love people who bask in the limelight. He loves them but He loves ordinary “blue jeans” people too.
One area He wants to help us deal with is the dark times of life. We all have dark times. I don’t care who you are, you’re going to suffer some dark times. Times when you’re tempted to despair or be depressed, discouraged and disappointed, doubtful and fearful, worrisome and anxious. There are going to be times when you need a light to shine in your darkness that you cannot produce on your own. The Good News is Jesus wants to be your light!
There are billions of people who are yet to find Jesus. People who are living in a dark void, seeking for the light that can bring love, joy and purpose to their mundane and meaningless existence. They can’t seem to find a way out of the darkness and it leads to many problems. If you’re one of those people Jesus wants to be your light.
Without the light of Jesus, navigating the dark is a lonesome and fearful path. I’ll give you an example on a physical plane.
In the Pacific Northwest, where it’s overcast most days, lots of people suffer from light deprivation, which can result in mood swings and depression. There’s even a scientific name for this problem: “Seasonal Affective Disorder,“ or S.A.D. People suffering from S.A.D. have to set up special light panels in their homes and get heavy doses of illumination in order to be happy campers.
Our minds and bodies need light. We can’t survive without it. Light revitalizes our physical and emotional being. They used to punish criminals by putting them in dark dungeons because they knew it was a terrible punishment. I think most of us agree that life without light is dreary.
The same thing is true spiritually. We can’t survive without the Son of God lighting up our spiritual lives. Our shadowy hearts, tinged by selfishness and confusion, need His light. Plus, we sorely need the light of the world to come and revitalize our lives because we live in a dark world. If we don’t have the light that Jesus offers our lives become spiritually sad.
The Good News is Jesus came so that we don’t have to live in the dark. We’re going to see today how we can allow Jesus to revitalize our lives. How His light can take us from depression and disappointment, doubt and fear…how He can bring love, joy, purpose, power and peace so that we can lead a meaningful life.
So far in our series “Jesus in Blue Jeans” we’ve looked at a couple of word pictures Jesus painted of Himself. These self-portraits paint His amazing desire to get close to us and to care for us even though we’re made from dirt and He’s the God of the universe who made us. Jesus in blue jeans is God putting Himself down on our level in order to be our friend!
These word pictures depict a Savior who doesn’t want us to be sad, but on the contrary, He wants us to live a “rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10) That’s what Jesus said when He spoke of Himself as the Great Shepherd that sacrifices His life for His sheep. In this series we’ve also seen Him as “the bread that gives life,” a satisfying life here and “forever life” hereafter.
Today we’re going to look at one more word picture that Jesus paints of Himself that shows how who He is meets our practical, every day needs. “I am the light of the world,” Jesus said.
He did not say, “I have the light,” or, “I can show you the light.” He said, “I am the light.”
I want us to understand first,
I. WHY I NEED GOD’S LIGHT
Why did Jesus paint this word picture of Himself as the light of the world?
1. I need God’s light because my heart is dark without it.
To understand better what Jesus meant when He said, “I am the light of the world” it helps first of all to get a grip on the context in which Jesus made this declaration. Everything that Jesus said had perfect timing. When He said, “I am the light of the world,” He purposely chose a certain backdrop.
Jesus had been attending the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles or “Booths” and he was teaching in the temple. The Feast of Booths was a big and joyful celebration that took place during the time of harvest. There was music and dancing. Hearts were light and cheerful. But the people were not just celebrating the harvest. They were recalling the time that God had provided for their ancestors in the wilderness. They built dwellings made of tree branches to symbolize God’s ability to take care of His people even in the direst of circumstances.