Summary: Christmas message describing Jesus as the light of the world
The Light of Men
December 5, 2010
Last week we looked the “wonder” of Christmas as we looked at the different responses that Zechariah and Mary had to the messages from God through the angel Gabriel about the babies that were about to come their way.
My plan this week was to look at different prophecies of the Old Testament that point to Jesus and especially His birth, but as the week drew on, I was increasingly convinced that what God wanted me to focus on this week is this whole idea that Jesus is the light of the world.
I wondered if maybe it was just the fact that the Living Christmas Tree musical is called, “Hallelujah! Light Has Come.” But then I kept hearing other references to Jesus as the light of the world coming at Christmas, and I figured maybe God was just trying to tell me something.
I’ve missed some work this week due to illness, and sometimes that messes with the old thinker. My guess is that God was trying to hammer that into me for quite some time and I just missed it in the fog of being sick.
So that’s where we’re going this week, and we’re going to dive right into the main Scripture passage I want to use as the foundation for our time is found in…
God: John 1:1-9 (p. 750) –
Before we get into this, I just want to say that I don’t know that I’ll be sharing anything new with most of you today, but maybe just a reminder during this Christmas season that God wants you to have.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Let me stop there for a minute.
This isn’t the main point of where I’m going today, but I think it’s important to point out something here:
Later in verse 14, we find out that the apostle John is talking about Jesus right here.
And He says that Jesus is the Word of God and the Creator.
So Jesus isn’t just a good man or teacher, is He? No – He’s God.
He is without beginning and without end. His time on earth was just a momentary period when God took on human flesh.
Jesus has existed from all eternity and will exist through all eternity.
But two thousand years ago He came to earth as a helpless baby.
So let’s get rid of the notion that Jesus was just some nice guy who roamed around Galilee for awhile saying nice stuff and getting killed in the end, okay?
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
Before we get too much farther into the meat of the message, let me read a couple more passages regarding Jesus and the light.
13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali--14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: 15 "Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles-- 16 the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
12 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."
Obviously Jesus equates light with good, and darkness with evil, bad, and death.
And just as obviously, Jesus wants us to live in light – His light.
What does light do? It does lots of things, but let me talk just about three things that Scripture says about light – specifically about the light of God through Christ and the Scriptures.
I say both because this passage says that Jesus is the Word of God, right? Right.
So let’s look at the first thing light does:
1. It exposes sin and error.
19 “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.”