Summary: As we near the end of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication and the Festival of Lights, I would like to reflect on the nature of light and why Yeshua said He was the Light of the World but also that WE are the Light of the World.
20181208 Parsha Miketz – The Nature of Light Sermon
Torah Portion Genesis Chapter 41-44
B’rit Chadashah - Matt 5:13-16
In this week’s Parsha we continue our story of Joseph how he correctly interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and ascends from prison to the second highest position in Egypt. It is a remarkable turn of events for Joseph that proves God’s hand in directing his life. We see how the dreams he had as a teenager are now coming to fruition as the scene is set for his brothers to have to come to him with hat in hand trying to get food for their families. It is an amazing story of prophecy fulfilled for the purpose of physical salvation of the Israelite people. Joseph was taken from the darkness of prison into the light of God’s purpose. I encourage each of you to take time out this week to read Genesis Chapter 41-44.
But since we are celebrating Hanukkah this week, I wanted to speak on the subject of light. Hanukkah has several names and several spellings. It is known as the Feast of Dedication as evidenced in John 10:22. But it is also popularly known as the Festival of Lights because we light candles each night to commemorate the miracle of the Menorah staying lit for eight nights. I spoke of that miraculous history at length last week.
Today I want to speak on the Nature of Light. What is light? What are its properties? What did Yeshua say about Light?
What is Light? Light is electromagnetic radiation that can be detected by the human eye. Electromagnetic radiation occurs over an extremely wide range of wavelengths, from gamma rays with wavelengths less than about 1 × 10-11 meter to radio waves measured in meters. Within that broad spectrum the wavelengths visible to humans occupy a very narrow band, from about 700 nanometers (nm; billionths of a meter) for red light down to about 400 nm for violet light.
Visible Light is made of many wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation. It takes all those wavelengths from infra-red to ultra-violet to give us a product that allows us to walk across the living room floor in the middle of the night without rearranging our toes.
The spectral regions adjacent to the visible band are often referred to as light also, infrared at the one end and ultraviolet at the other. The speed of light in a vacuum is a fundamental physical constant, the currently accepted value of which is exactly 299,792,458 meters per second, or about 186,282 miles per second.
Since light is a constant, we use it for measuring vast distances. For instance, the distance to the nearest star outside of our own little solar system is 4.22 light years away. That means that if you could travel at the speed of light it would take you 4.22 years to reach Proxima Centauri, the closest star in the Alpha Centauri system.
Light also produces heat.
I’m not going to bore you with the physics behind all those little particles called photons bouncing around hitting each other. There are a couple of reasons why I’m not going to explain this in detail. First of all, it would take too long to adequately plumb the depths of quantum physics in the few minutes allotted to this sermon. But the most important reason I will not be expounding on how light produces heat is…..I don’t have a clue how it produces heat. I just know that if you touch a light bulb even if it has been lit for only a few seconds, it will be warm. Just remember, light produces heat.
Why is all this important? Let’s look at what Yeshua says about light.
In several scriptures He states that he is the light of the world.
John 8:12 Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
John 12:46 As light I have come into the world, so that everyone who trusts in Me should not remain in darkness.
That is easy for us as Believers to accept. Yes He is a great light for all of us to follow.
But then He also says something extraordinary.
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. (14) You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. (15) Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house. (16) In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”