Summary: 3 kinds of darkness and how to dispel it. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Jesus: Light of the World
Jesus makes His bold claim of being the light of the world right in front of the temple during the big festival of tabernacles, with a great crowd gathered. At night they would surround the temple mount with candelabras, and the atmosphere was illumined. I believe it was at that time that Jesus spoke our text...I am the light of the world! It was true 2,000 years ago when He said it, and still true today.
In the beginning, Christ was part of the Godhead which said, Let there be light. He was in the burning bush which spoke to Moses and that pillar of fire which led Israel thru the wilderness. The Psalmist said, He is my light and my salvation. He was the light of the world, born at night to dispel darkness with His light. He was the bright light seen by disciples on a hillside at His transfiguration, and the light which blinded Saul the day he got saved. And He is the light of heaven, where there is no need of sun or moon. The Word of God is a lamp to our feet, and light to our path, and He is the Word, and I love the old hymn that says, "How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior, stepping in the light!"
Our world depicts Christianity as a leap of faith into the darkness, but the fact is, it's a step into the light!
Jesus illuminates the darkness.
v. 12 What is darkness? Simply put, it is the absence of light. If you walk into a dark room and you don't like it, it does no good to stand there and curse the darkness. The best thing to do is to turn on a light, and then darkness flees. Biblically speaking, darkness is a symbol of life without God, who is light. To live without the knowledge of God and His Word is to walk in darkness...a spiritual darkness.
The world walks in 3 kinds of darkness:
1. Mental/intellectual darkness.
Rom. 1 says they profess themselves to be wise, and are become fools, because they reject God and walk in darkness.
[Ben Stein / Richard Dawkins clip] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlZtEjtlirc
Man chooses to walk in darkness because to step into the light would expose him as the sinner that he is. 'Tis better to lurk in the shadows!
Man has always sought the answer to the 3 great questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
The world has no good answers to these questions. I'm no one special, I have no real purpose, and I'm going nowhere. At death I will cease to exist. That's not light, that's darkness, and people are sucked in like a black hole, having no direction, not knowing where their life is headed, unless a beacon appears on a hillside, a lighthouse I say, showing them the way! And if only you can answer those 3 questions, then it matters not if you never even passed grade school, you have more light than all the enlightened PhD’s in the world!
I know I am the direct, special creation of God, made in His image. And I was made for the distinct purpose of bringing glory to Him. Where am I going? First of all, somewhere, for I have an eternal soul that will go on somewhere, depending upon what I do with the sacrifice of Christ!
ill.--man has built models of our solar system, to scale. They are really quite fascinating when you see them in motion. If you tried to convince an atheist that that model resulted from an explosion, he would never believe you. And I say, if you can't believe that, how can you believe the real thing came about that way?
They walk in darkness because they want to.
For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old...
2. Moral darkness.
The world calls good evil and evil good. They scoff at things morally good, and praise low morality.
[Letterman clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHe-HuHEKw4 ]
Whoopi Goldberg defended Roman Polanski saying what he did wasn't 'rape-rape' because he used a drug and didn't hold the girl down. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFcI0kAypu8
Washington D.C. is a mockery in scandal after scandal. Even while Newt Gingrich was trying to take down Bill Clinton for his infidelity he himself was having an adulterous affair. So let's add hypocrisy to our immorality?! Rudy Giuliani left his wife on her cancer deathbed to marry another he has been having an affair with. Is this morality? And are we guilty of calling evil good when we give these guys a pass simply because they are political conservatives?
ill.--kids YouTube their fights at recess and we call it pecking order, or survival of the fittest...only the strongest survive. Might makes right?