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There is a fascination with lights, is there not? When were you last fascinated by some bright lights? Jesus said, "I am the Light of the World" (John 8:12). In fact, we find that Jesus says that He is the key component to a fulfilled life.
“Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying,
‘I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life’” (Joh 8:12).
Most of us love light. I remember when a boy, when I got a newspaper for my great grandparents, I would run about ½ mile each way to City Hall. The corner store was not far away, just down and around the block, but city hall was further on down. During Christmas time they would hang huge strings of lights over the front of City Hall’s building, usually in the form of a Christmas tree. I never told my Mom about this, fearing I might not get approval, but just ran down for a quick glimpse and then ran back home after delivering the newspaper.
There is a fascination with lights, is there not? When were you last fascinated by some bright lights? Was it this evening when the sun went down or the recent dawn? My wife at times awakens early and when there is a special sight as the bright recent morning star–Venus, I would hear her exclaiming how beautiful it was.
This fascination with light, however, is not bound to certain cultures but commonly happens around the world. Two years back I was in India during durga puja, a time when the Bengalis would spend an enormous amount of money making elaborate light displays. Diwali is soon coming when all of India will celebrate a festival with lights. And so it is with each culture, they love to use lights to celebrate.
So what is it that makes light so interesting to myself as a boy or to people around the world? Light provides contrast and detail against dark and boring backgrounds. Light provides direction and help when darkness produces fear and the unknown. Light can produce healing, warmth, strength and optimism.
The elderly apostle John uses this contrast between light and darkness to help teach us about the reason Jesus came into the world. In John 8:12 Jesus makes two extravagant claims.
(1) “I am the light of the world.” This extravagant claim had to do with Himself.
(2) “He who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He also gives an extravagant offer to others.
(The Disciple 1 Digitial Library has the slides, article and audio/video of this talk.)
Next => Jesus' first extravagant claim