Summary: The Light of the World Witness to the Light Jesus
The Light of the World
Witness to the Light Jesus
December 8, 2013
Christmas is three just weeks away and I want to draw our attention to the significance of the incarnation, the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, the greatest rescue mission the world has ever known. So we are in week two of a four week series, “The Light of the World” looking at the first eighteen verses of the first chapter of the gospel of John. If you remember from last week, John starts out differently than the other gospels. Mark starts out of the gate with adult Jesus on the scene preaching, 'repent for the kingdom is at hand.' Matthew and Luke start farther back in time to the birth of Jesus. But John starts even farther back, stretching into eternity, showing us that Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully human, having both the power to save us and the ability to atone for our sin.
Last week, in verses one through five, we saw that because Jesus, the eternal word, is both life and light he triumphs over the darkness, which is evil, sin, and unbelief. Our life group is discussing the sermons and we reflected on the implications this of this passage last Thursday. God has triumphed over my sinful and rebellious heart to draw me to himself; he is currently triumphing over the evil and sin and unbelief in my life.
Big Idea – God in his wisdom has chosen to use human witnesses to bear witness to the light so that the world may believe.
God Has Sent Us (vs. 6)
Why does God send human witnesses at all? The God of the universe does not need our help. God has chosen weak vessels to display his great power to witness to the light and to push back the darkness. That is what he did with John the Baptist. Jesus of all people, God in the flesh, did not need help but he sent John. But God in his wisdom has chosen this way. This has two implications for all of us. In a general sense, we are all sent by God. We are not masters of our own destiny, we are not randomly here in Homer, we were sent from God. Secondly, God sends some of us for specific tasks. It may be like John the Baptist or the apostle Paul called as the apostle to the Gentiles or Timothy, who worked alongside Paul or any number of people in the bible. Or it may be to a specific place in life like being a parent, business owner, employee, or a neighbor. God may also call you to something different someday. He may call you into something you are not doing right now. God may someday come knocking on your door. We are a people sent from God and God may change that assignment at any time. John came upon the scene at the right time and in the right place because he was sent from God. Do not discount the fact that you and I are people who are sent by God. Sometimes we recognize that fact; many times we don't. Not one of our lives are ordinary, not one of us are adrift and led by random circumstances. Do you live with the expectation that you are sent from God?
God Has Sent Us To Witness to Christ (vs. 7-8)
God loves to promote the light through human beings. A witness is an individual with some knowledge and experience that can help establish the truthfulness of some fact that is in dispute. John's experience came when God called him in the wilderness and then he encountered Jesus when he baptized him. His knowledge came when he reflected on the Old Testament and concluded that Jesus was the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He witnessed about the light by pointing people to the light. There is no confusion, John was not the light but came to bear witness about the light. God sends us to witness to the light, it is in our spiritual DNA to do so. The life was the light of men and we are lamps that point to the light.
John was described as a burning and shining lamp. He was burning with zeal or passion. Jesus was the object of his affections and was shining with the light of truth. The truth enlightened his mind and so gave heat to his heart. That should be the desire for all of us. Our minds enlightened with the truth which acts like kindling to the embers of our hearts, which stoke the flame of our hearts. God's desire for all of us is that we be a burning and shining lamp.