Summary: Sermon #6 in the Jesus in Isaiah series looks at how Messiah is pictured as a light in a dark place. Texts for this include Isaiah 9:2-4, 50:10-11, 60:1-3 as well as a reference in Matt.5:14-16. (Sermon #5 of this series is omitted because Ronnie Morgan
Isaiah #6 CHCC: 02-16-03
SKIT: This Little Light of Mine
I like it when other people assist me by bringing a unique introduction to my sermon. Surely you’ve had those days when you felt like your light of testimony and example went out. Sometimes it goes out and seems hard to restart, kinda’ like your wick got wet in the process. But still Jesus says unequivocally that you are a light.
Jesus said “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14 What exactly does He mean by that?
Scripture often uses the illustration of Light and Darkness to illustrate spiritual truth. What are the first words of God recorded at creation? Let there be light, and there was light. It makes sense that the Almighty God created physical light in a way that illustrates His own Nature. Listen to this description of the nature of physical light:
Light is constituted of three rays, or groups of wave-lengths, distinct from each other. No one of those three rays would be light without the others.
Each ray has its own separate function:
The 1st Originates
The 2nd Illuminates
The 3rd Consummates
Notice how these three rays illustrate the 3-part Nature of God:
The 1st ray, often called “invisible light,” is neither seen nor felt. (Just like God the Father who reigns in Heaven)
The 2nd ray is both seen and felt. (like God the Son who lived on earth. Jesus came to bring the LIGHT to earth in a way we could understand.)
The 3rd ray is not seen, but if felt as heat. (like God the Holy Spirit whose influence is felt but not seen on earth)
The Prophet Isaiah foretold that one day, the LIGHT of God would come to earth in a way that we could all see and understand. Look in chapter 9:
1. GOD’S LIGHT SHINES IN THE DARKNESS
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Isaiah often presented his prophecies in past tense using what commentators call a “prophetic perfect tense”, a technique that stresses the certainty of the fulfillment. Isaiah was so sure that his predictions would come true that he spoke of them as if they had already happened.
. If there’s any doubt who Isaiah was talking about, look in vs. 1 of Isaiah 9: “..in the future he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea along the Jordan.” Isaiah 9:1 Galilee was the area where Jesus grew up and where he did most of his ministry. These people were usually in darkness because they lived on the border of Israel and were often the first to suffer under foreign oppression. They were also very superstitious and often slid into the occult practices of the others who lived around them.To them Jesus appeared as a great light, just as Isaiah foretold.
He was predicting the coming of the Messiah. John recorded the fulfillment of this prophecy in John 1:4 & 5: In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:4-5
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
The Apostle Paul elaborates on Jesus who shines as light in darkness in II Corinthians: The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. II Corinthians 4:4-6
Isaiah spent a lot of time contrasting Spiritual Light and Darkness. Let me just take a minute to share with you some of these contrasts:
1. Characteristics of Darkness
a. Idolatry: not only the practices of the Canaanites involving idols, but the tendency of people today who focus on anything other than God or on themselves. It is all idolatry.
b. Bondage: People who live in darkness are enslaved to the things they focus on. They may not realize that the things they own and love actually own them
c. Blindness: Satan has clever ways of creating spiritual blindness so that those who are enslaved by him actually think they are free and living according to their own dictates. They are captives, but unable to recognize their own true condition