Summary: Jesus is the Light of the world! But what does that mean? 1. He is the light of life. 2. He gives glory to God. 3. He helps us see God's salvation. 4. He gives us fellowship in God's family. 5. He gives us the light of love.
Jesus said: "I Am the Light of the World"
Series: The Great I Am
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church -- Jan. 26, 2014
*In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. . ." Bible experts tell us that this "I AM" statement from the Lord took place during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. One of the main ceremonies during this feast was the "Illumination of the Temple."
*Most commentators believe that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Light of the World at the Illumination Ceremony. Four enormous stands each held four golden bowls. They were set up in the Temple's Court of Women. These 16 golden bowls were reached by ladders and filled with oil. They used the old clothes of the priests for wicks. When those huge lamps were lit at night, the light shined all over Jerusalem. That great blaze lit up every courtyard in the city, and it burned all night long.
*But everyone knew that light was going to flicker and die. Against that scene, Jesus stepped forward and said: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'' (1)
*The other piece of background to this Scripture is the wonderful story of God's mercy in vs. 1-11. So let's read vs. 1-12, as we look into God's Word today.
*Take a moment this morning to think about our sun. We tend to take it for granted, because it's up there in the sky every day. But our local star really is amazing. It's 93 million miles away, and 864,000 miles across. About one million earths could fit inside. That boggles my mind. And the sun is hot. At the core of the sun the temperature is 28,799,540 degrees Fahrenheit! (2)
*Without the heat and light of the sun, of course, life as we know it could not exist on the earth. The sun is essential. But the real Light of the world infinitely more essential. The sun is amazing. But the real Light of the world infinitely more amazing.
*And Jesus Christ is the Light of the world! But what does that mean? We have to search the Scriptures to find out.
1. First: As the Light of the world, Jesus is the light of life.
*As the Lord said in vs. 12, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.''
*Luke and Matthew both remind us how desperately people need the light of life. Before Jesus was even born the father of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit. And he began to prophesy about baby John and the coming Messiah. In Luke 1:76-79, John the Baptist's father said:
76. "and you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,
77. to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,
78. Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
79. to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.''
*Then at the very beginning of the Lord's ministry, Matthew 4:13-16 says this about Jesus:
13. . . leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,
14. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
15. "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:
16. the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.''
*Everybody desperately needs Jesus Christ! He is the only true Light of life. In Jesus, "the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.''
*What would the world be like without the sun? -- Cold, dark and dead, wandering aimlessly about the universe with no hope of ever having life. That's what people are like without Jesus! As the Light of the world, Jesus is the light of life.
2. He also gives glory to God.
*Jesus pointed out this truth to us on the night that He talked to Nicodemus. -- So please turn over to John 3:16-21. Here the Lord said:
16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.