Summary: What does it mean to be light?
Jesus Christ who we celebrate during Christmas stated in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
What did Jesus mean that He is the Light of the world?
Jesus of course was giving a word picture, a metaphor; something we can understand to explain something beyond our simple understanding!
What is light? Light is something which illuminates, shines, stands out, visible and makes things visible, and is impacting!
In a scientific/physical way, light is actually energy and a product of energy; a flashlight has a bulb but will not emit energy until the batteries gives it energy. Stars in the universe will not transmit light energy if there was no energy within them; for suns and stars nuclear reactions of explosive chemicals provides the energy. Hhhmmmm… I wonder if scientists ever wonder where those chemicals came from??
Light is a product of energy and light itself is energy which can spread many distances depending on its power and impacts everything it touches! Think of our sun for a moment: our sun is about 93 million miles away, but it illuminates everything during the day and provides warmth for us, but we also need sunglasses and sunscreen to protect us from the harmful electro-magnetic waves of energy the sunlight brings!
Now, the next closest sun to us is called Alpha Centauri; but because it is not very big, we can not see it with our naked eye. However, Sirius, the Dog Star, is twice as far from us than Alpha Centauri (about 8 light years away; a light year is the distance light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles). 8 light years means the light we see from the Dog Star is actually 8 years old!
Although about 48 trillion miles away, the Dog Star is the brightest star we can see with our naked eye! Both stars, Centauri and Sirius, produce light but one impacts us more that the other, why? Sirius, although farther than Alpha Centauri, Sirius is 20 times bigger than Centauri! The power energy of star Sirius is so much greater that Alpha Centauri.
Now note this, there is a star called Icarus which we can see with our naked eye but it is about 14 billion light years away! We can see Icarus, eventhough billion times further than the brightest star we see because of it’s powerful energy; even more powerful than Sirius! And again, since Icarus is 14 billion light years away, the light we see from Icarus, according to scientists, is 14 billion years old!! Light is powerful!
Here’s my point in all of these stars and light information. God created all the stars and the entire universe! God is beyond the farthest star we know! If people can believe a light that we can see is over 14 billion years old which is like eternity, why can’t they believe in God who is eternal and produces light!
Light is a product of energy and light is energy and it has a tremendous impact on something depending on how powerful the source is and how close the object is to that light!
But let us also note , light energy will also impact an object depending on the characteristics of the object! Ever see a guy who sunbathed and kept his sunglasses on? When he takes off his sunglasses, he ends up looking like a racoon! The guy allowed the sun to impact him but chose to cover the area of his eyes.
Did you know that planet Venus is hotter than Mercury even though Mercury is the closest to the sun? Interesting huh? Google it!! Mercury and Venus are 2 unique planets are responds to the sun differently!
Now, Jesus is the light of the world! What does this mean then? First of all, Jesus can be a physical light for many reasons! We can note many times in the Gospels in which Jesus appeared like a Sun shining bright. And when Saul, who became the apostle Paul, was confronted, Jesus was a bright light which blinded Paul!
V12: Jesus is the light of the world and whoever follows Him will never walk in darkness and have the light of life! What does this mean since it is a metaphor? Following Jesus gives meaning to life, both physically but more importantly spiritually, which is forever! Let us note that following Jesus is available to anyone! Are we following Jesus? Are we teaching and encouraging people to follow Jesus?
Here’s an analogy of where we are at; if we turned off all the lights and closed all the doors here, we would be in total darkness! We can try and live out our lives by feeling things and talking to people but if we’re stuck in darkness for who knows how long, our lives would really be meaningless!