Summary: How Jesus came to be a light to a dark world.

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John 1:4-5 4 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. (NKJ)

John 1:9 (Jesus)... was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (NKJ)

John 8:12 ... Jesus said to the people, "I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path." (TLB)

Cultural Background - “The Jews celebrated a ceremony called “The Illumination of the Temple.” It took place in the court of the women. The court was very dark, surrounded by deep galleries. In the center stood four great candelabras. When darkness descended, each of the candelabras were lit, which in turn lit up the courtyard. During the night, the priest and the people danced and sang songs of joy It is with this understanding that Jesus make this comment to the Pharisees that surrounded him - “I am the light of the world.” In essence, he is saying.. “Your candle’s only light up this courtyard, but I can bring light to the whole world. In the end, your light will burn forever

The people of Jesus’ day understood darkness. They didn’t have the modern conveniences that you and I have. To walk from one place to another they tied oil lamps to their feet. They used oil lamps in their homes and places of business.

Ps 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (NKJ)

I Jn 1:5 ... God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (NKJ)

They suffered from darkness of political oppression. They lived in a land that was being dominated by the Roman government.

They suffered from religious oppression from their own leaders. (Pharisees, etc.)

Darkness makes men long for the light.

All of us have experienced dark times in our life.

Micah 7:8-9 8 “... when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. 9... He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.” (NKJ)

So... how do you know if you have the light?

I Jn 2:9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. (NKJ)

Do you have hatred in your heart tonight?

I Jn 1:5-10

5 This is the message God has given us to pass on to you: that God is Light and in him is no darkness at all.

6 So if we say we are his friends (1) but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying.

7 But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.

8 (2) If we say that we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.

9 But if we confess our sins to him, he can be depended on to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. [And it is perfectly proper for God to do this for us because Christ died to wash away our sins.]

10 (3) If we claim we have not sinned, we are lying and calling God a liar, for he says we have sinned. (TLB)

A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, "What do you put on your face to make it shine?" With surprise the man of God answered, "I don’t put anything on it!" His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, "Yes, you do!" All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. I’ve seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay." Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, "Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It’s not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It’s the reflection of the light of God in our hearts.

Ps 34:5 They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed. (NKJ)

2 Cor 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NKJ)

In a certain mountain village in Europe several centuries ago, a nobleman wondered what legacy he should leave to his townspeople. At last he decided to build them a church.

No one saw the complete plans for the church until it was finished. When the people gathered, they marveled at its beauty and completeness. Then someone asked, "But where are the lamps? How will it be lighted?"

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