Summary: In this one we explore one of the ways Jesus is revealed to us in scripture as we set our hearts on the author and finisher of our faith.
Dakota Community Church
March 2, 2008
The Light of the World
For some people it is just a holiday weekend, others see it as a time to get new clothing or to start thinking about spring, for many of the kids (and not just a few adults I would guess) its all about the chocolate; but for you and I, for Christians everywhere, it is what life itself revolves around.
There are only three more Sundays counting today before we celebrate the resurrection. It all hinges on this, and so it all hinges on Him. This morning and all this month we will explore some of the ways Jesus is revealed to us in scripture as we set our hearts on the author and finisher of our faith.
The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Jesus is the true light that gives light to every man.
The Word became flesh. Think about that for a moment this morning. So many of the problems we face in this world are because people have messed up ideas of what God is like and of what God expects of men.
This situation is being exploited by men like Richard Dawkins who said, “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the small pox virus but harder to eradicate.”
Christopher Hitchens, author of the New York Times best seller, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything”, calls for a new enlightenment in a post-religious world. In a recent debate with Oxford University Professor of Historical Theology Alister McGrath, Hitchens said, “I can’t believe there is a thinking person here who doesn’t realize that our species would begin to grow to something like its full height if it left this childishness behind, if it emancipated itself from this sinister, childish nonsense. Dawkins is an over a million seller with the “God Delusion” and others are wracking up sales in his wake.
Jesus is in fact the answer to this problem. He sheds light on this issue. Jesus is the Word in flesh format. What are we supposed to understand from all these prophets and all these pages of this inspired book? Somehow we got murdering and bombing and controlling and greed out of the pages that Jesus demonstrates in the flesh.
Jesus, He is what God’s will looks like, sounds like, and acts like. He is the light with all darkness removed. This brings me to this morning’s first point.
1. Without Jesus we stumble around in darkness.
This world is a lost and dark place.
When I was in Bible school I did some work around the church to help out with my expenses. It was odd jobs mostly like painting bathroom stalls and vacuuming. One day I had to get something in another part of the building and the quickest way to get there was through the large sanctuary but when I opened the doors the lights were off and it was pitch black. Even though I had walked through that space many times I found myself carefully edging along with my hands out in front of me in a kind of half crouched position to avoid an unseen obstacle. When the lights suddenly came on and the church caretaker saw me he nearly fell over he was laughing so hard.
Darkness is scary because we don’t know what is coming or what lies in our path. Jesus changes all that.
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."
We never have to walk in darkness again when we follow Jesus because we have the light of life!
When we walk in the darkness we are lost in spiritual ignorance, but in the light we see the grace and mercy the father has for us.
In the darkness we are lost and entangled by moral impurity, but in the light of life we are set free from sins control.
In the darkness there is unrelieved sorrow and a sense of hopelessness, but in the light of life we find healing and hope both now and in the world to come.