Malankara World Journal - Christian Spirituality from a Jacobite and Orthodox Perspective
Malankara World Journal
Theme: Jesus - The Light of The World, Great Lent Week 6
Volume 7 No. 406 March 31, 2017
IV. Featured: Jesus - The Light of The World

Jesus said 'I Am the Light of the World'

by Rick Crandall


John 8:1-12,
John 3:16-21,
Luke 2:28-32,
1 John 1:3-7,
1 John 2:6 & 9-11


In John 8:12, Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. . ." Bible experts tell us that this "I AM" statement from the Lord took place during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles. One of the main ceremonies during this feast was the "Illumination of the Temple."

Most commentators believe that Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Light of the World at the Illumination Ceremony. Four enormous stands each held four golden bowls. They were set up in the Temple's Court of Women. These 16 golden bowls were reached by ladders and filled with oil. They used the old clothes of the priests for wicks. When those huge lamps were lit at night, the light shined all over Jerusalem. That great blaze lit up every courtyard in the city, and it burned all night long.

But everyone knew that light was going to flicker and die. Against that scene, Jesus stepped forward and said: "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'' (1)

The other piece of background to this Scripture is the wonderful story of God's mercy in John 8: 1-11. So let's read vs. 1-12, as we look into God's Word today.


Take a moment this morning to think about our sun. We tend to take it for granted, because it's up there in the sky every day. But our local star really is amazing. It's 93 million miles away, and 864,000 miles across. About one million earths could fit inside. That boggles my mind. And the sun is hot. At the core of the sun the temperature is 28,799,540 degrees Fahrenheit! (2)

Without the heat and light of the sun, of course, life as we know it could not exist on the earth. The sun is essential. But the real Light of the world infinitely more essential. The sun is amazing. But the real Light of the world infinitely more amazing.

And Jesus Christ is the Light of the world! But what does that mean? We have to search the Scriptures to find out.

1. First: As the Light of the world, Jesus is the light of life.

As the Lord said in John 8:12, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.''

Luke and Matthew both remind us how desperately people need the light of life. Before Jesus was even born the father of John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit. And he began to prophesy about baby John and the coming Messiah. In Luke 1:76-79, John the Baptist's father said:

76. "and you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest; for you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways,

77. to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the remission of their sins,

78. Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;

79. to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.''

Then at the very beginning of the Lord's ministry, Matthew 4:13-16 says this about Jesus:

13. . . leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

14. that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

15. "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles:

16. the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.''

Everybody desperately needs Jesus Christ! He is the only true Light of life. In Jesus, "the people who sat in darkness saw a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.''

What would the world be like without the sun? -- Cold, dark and dead, wandering aimlessly about the universe with no hope of ever having life. That's what people are like without Jesus! As the Light of the world, Jesus is the light of life.

2. He also gives glory to God.

Jesus pointed out this truth to us on the night that He talked to Nicodemus. -- So please turn over to John 3:16-21. Here the Lord said:

16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."

In other words: The Light makes it clear that God gets the glory for any good we do. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:27-31:

27. God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;

28. and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are,

29. that no flesh should glory in His presence.

30. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption

31. that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.''

As the Light of the world, Jesus gives glory to God! We see an example on the Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus was transformed before Peter, James and John.

Matthew 17:2 tells us that Jesus "was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light." Here God revealed His glory through the light.

Then in Acts 26:13-15, Paul gave his testimony of how Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul was speaking to King Agrippa and said:

13. "At midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.

14. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'

15. So I said, 'Who are You, Lord?' And He said, 'I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.'"

Paul said: "At midday, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun!" I am glad that Jesus shines brighter than the sun. And He ought to shine brighter than the sun, because He created the sun.

The world needs to know that Jesus Christ shines brighter than the sun! And the more they know this, the more they will give God the glory He deserves. As the Light of the world, Jesus gives glory to God.

3. He also helps us see God's salvation.

Luke 2 tells us that Joseph and Mary took baby Jesus to the Temple to dedicate Him to God. God had promised faithful, old Simeon that he would not die before seeing the Messiah. So the Holy Spirit led Simeon to the Temple at just the right time.

And when Simeon saw little Jesus,

28. he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

29. "Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word;

30. for my eyes have seen Your salvation

31. which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

32. a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.'' (Luke 2:28-32)

Jesus is the light to bring the revelation of salvation to all the peoples of the world. Just a few days before the Lord went to the cross, Jesus was back in Jerusalem. He told the people He was going to be crucified, saying:

32. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.''

33. This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

34. The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?''

35. Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.

36. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.'' (John 12:32-36)

Jesus is the Light that shows us the way of salvation.

Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell told about one of the most frightening times in his life. He was returning from a combat mission and couldn't find his aircraft carrier. It was night and the carrier lights were off due to the combat conditions.

Jim's navigation equipment was of no use because they were under total radio silence. He desperately turned on his map light to see if he could calculate his position, but suddenly an electrical short caused all of the lights to go out.

It was then that he saw it in the darkness. There was an eerie glow in the water. And Jim knew that it was the glow of tiny sea plankton caused by the wake of a passing ship. All he had to do was follow the light like a highway to the ship.

I don't believe that was an accident at all. God caused that electrical short at just the right time for Jim to see the light that saved him down in the water below. Jim never would have made it back to the ship without that God-given light. And you will never make it to Heaven without Jesus! He is the Light of eternal salvation for all who will trust in Him.

As the Light of the world, Jesus helps us see God's salvation.

4. He also gives us fellowship in the family of God

In his first letter, the Apostle John wrote these words to fellow Christians:

3. that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

4. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

5. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

6. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

7. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
(1 John 1:3-7)

Christians: If we "walk in the light as He is in the light," we will have great fellowship with other believers, with our Father in Heaven, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

We can have great fellowship in the family of God, because our sins are washed away by the blood Jesus shed on the cross for us. We can have great fellowship, because when we believe in Jesus, God's Spirit gives us a new birth into the family of God. That's why in John 12:36, Jesus said, "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.'' And in Ephesians 5:8, Paul tells believers: "You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light."

Christians we are sons of light, children of light. And God the Father of lights in James 1:17 has His loving eye on you right now.

The Winter Olympics starts in just over a week, and I've never been to the Olympics. But after our Becky turned 16, she and I took a special trip down to Baton Rouge to see the Olympic ice skaters.

I don't know who the Olympic stars are today, but back then it was people like Nancy Kerrigan, Oksana Baiul, Victor Petrenko, and a whole lot of other people whose names I can't pronounce.

When Becky and I went to that Olympic Exhibition, we had some of the worst seats in the house. We really were in the nose-bleed section! I wouldn't have been surprised to see some of those oxygen masks drop down, like they have on airplanes. Anyway, the show started, and it got my attention when I heard the announcer say: "These are the best skaters in the world!"

Later on, Becky went down and found an empty seat on the front row. And as Nancy Kerrigan did her routine, I thought about Becky and the fact that she was my star, or one of them anyway. And my star wasn't one of the best skaters in the world, but my eyes were on her, because I love her.

And as our Heavenly Father looks down from above, it doesn't matter if the world has heard your name. You are important to Him. And it all goes back to this wonderful truth that Jesus is the Light of the world.

As the Light of the world, Jesus gives us fellowship in the family of God.

5. He also gives us the light of His love.

[1] Jesus gives us love for God's own people.

As the Apostle John said in 1 John 2:6 & 9-11

6. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.

9. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.

10. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.

11. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Christians: We are supposed to love each other! But that's not always easy to do, because everybody isn't as lovable as we are. The only way we can walk in the love we need is to walk in the Light of the Lord. Jesus Christ will give us the unconditional, sacrificial love we need for each other.

Joey Nelson described it this way:

  • - "Sacrificial love is silence when your words would hurt.
  • - Patience when your neighbor's curt.
  • - Deafness when a scandal flows.
  • - Thoughtfulness for other's woes.
  • - It's promptness when tough duty calls.
  • - And courage when misfortune falls." (3)

[2] That's the kind of love God wants us to have for each other, but also for all people.

And this is why in Matthew 5:14-16, Jesus tells His followers:

14. "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Other people desperately need to see the Light of the world shining in our lives.

Barrow, Alaska is located 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The sun goes down in Barrow on November 18th, and it doesn't come back up again until January 23rd. Can you imagine how glad they are to see the light? (4)

James Cox told about a man who lived near the North Pole during three months of darkness. He said, "I ached and hungered to see the dawn." (5)

He was desperate to see the light of the rising sun. But it is infinitely more important for people to see the light of the Risen Savior shining in us today!

Christians, 1 Peter 2:9 tells us: "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light."

We have been called out of darkness into His marvelous light. We have even been called the light of the world, because we know the true Light of the world, Jesus Christ.

May God help us to shine.


(1) Adapted from:

"Barclay's Daily Bible Study Series - NT" by William Barclay - Revised Edition - Copyright 1975 - First published by the Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh, Scotland - The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - "The Light Men Failed to Recognize" - John 8:12-20

Burge, John - NIVAC - pp. 255-256 - Source: SermonCentral sermon "The One Who Can Lead Us Out of Darkness" by Jonathan McLeod - John 8:12-12

(2) Adapted from:

(3) Adapted from SermonCentral Sermon "Real Love" by Joey Nelson - John 3:16

(4) Sources:

(5) Adapted from James W. Cox, "The Minister's Manual: 1995" - San Francisco - Harper Collins, 1994, p. 290 - Source: - 01042004

Source: SoundFaith Copyright 2017 Faithlife

How to Walk in the Light as God is in the Light

by Barry Hall

How to Put on the Armor of Light
How to Put on the Lord Jesus Christ!

Scripture: 1 John 1:7; Romans 13:12,14 and other related scriptures

Walk in the Light as God is in the Light; How is God in the Light?

The Bible says, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Many teach that "walking in the Light" means to walk in a way that is consistent with the scriptures. This is true. The scriptures are a light to our path. Walking in the Light is also a reference to living lives that are pure and separated from evil. I am not denying that at all.

However, we also have a promise here of having fellowship with Him and of continually being cleansed. The condition for these things is that we have to, "walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light" (1 John 1:7).

If we are to walk in the Light as He is in the Light, we need to ask an important question. How is He in the Light? We need to know this because we are to walk in the Light in the same way as He is in the Light.

Begin by noticing that the word ‘Light,’ in 1 John 1:7, is capitalized. Light is capitalized because the Light we are to walk inside is God Himself. By this alone it is clear that the meaning must include more than "live your life according to the light of the scriptures." Two verses before 1 John 1:7, the Bible says that "God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).

The scriptures tell us how it is that God is in the Light by saying, "He wraps himself in light as with a garment" (Psalm 104:1 NIV). Since we are to "walk in the Light as He is in the Light" and we know that He "wraps Himself" with Light, we should do the same.

When you live your life continually wrapping yourself in His Light you have fellowship with God and He continually cleanses you from all sin (1 John 1:7). You have fellowship with Him because you are walking inside the presence of the person of the Holy Spirit, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all" (2 Cor. 13:14).

By trusting God to cleanse you with His radiant Light, you don’t have to worry about not being clean enough to draw near. The washing of God is real. Thank Him until you find freedom to believe that His Light is burning away any reason to feel dirty before Him.

The command to put on Light implies a promise that wearing His Light is realistic, and right, for all of us. However, since we receive the Holy Spirit by faith, walking in the light requires that we believe Jesus is a fountain of Light. Jesus said we have to, "believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light" (John 12:36). We have to believe or we cannot receive the the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14).

Don't make the mistake of thinking of Him as just being light. Think about the Light you are putting on and wearing as the person of the Holy Spirit!

The Bible tells us to "put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:14a). It also says, "but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:7). If you are walking in the Light, you have also put on the armor of light.

Of Light and Being Protected by God

Notice the direct relationship between light, God being our defender, and entering the throne room to stand before the Lord.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread...My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear; Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock (Psa. 27:1-5).

When you draw near to Him trust His radiant light to be your strong armor. Let His glory be your rear guard (Isa. 58:8), by trusting His light to shine right through you and protect your back side also.

If you are convinced in your heart that God is a fountain of light, then you can be confident. When you enter the throne room, you will put on light and walk in it. You will walk in the light because of the light He shines at you from His face: "the Light...of the glory of God in the face of Christ." (2 Cor. 4:6b). The Bible also tells us, "How blessed are the people...O Lord, they walk in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all the day...For You are the glory of their strength" (Psalm 89:15-17a).

Enjoy His Light upon you as your protection, but think of the light as the person of the Holy Spirit.

Source: (C) Barry Hall 1999

Jesus, the Light of the World (Hymn)

by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)

1 Hark, the herald angels sing.
Jesus, the light of the world.
Glory to the new-born King.
Jesus, the light of the world.


We’ll walk in the light, beautiful light.
Come where the dewdrops of mercy shine bright.
Oh, shine all around us by day and by night.
Jesus, the light of the world.

2 Joyful, all ye nations, rise.
Jesus, the light of the world.
Join the triumph of the skies.
Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

3 Christ, by highest heaven adored.
Jesus, the light of the world.
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

4 Hail, the heaven-born Prince of Peace.
Jesus, the light of the world.
Hail, the Sun of righteousness!
Jesus, the light of the world. [Refrain]

The Light Of The World

by Paul Estabrooks

"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house."
- Matthew 5:14-15

Jesus is also the great light of the world (John 8:12). Those who believe in Him are brought out of darkness into His light (Colossians1:12-13) and in turn become lights also. In essence, they live the beatitudes.

What does light do?

A. It exposes dirt - If Christians live holy and righteous lives, it will show up the unrighteous deeds of others (Ephesians 5:8-14). An example is that people who take bribes feel very vulnerable if there are others that don't. Christians who work in government offices can, by their uprightness and integrity, diminish the amount of corruption just by their very presence and principles.

B. It lights up the way so that we do not stumble - If Christians walk by the principles of the Word of God, their lives take on a higher purpose and direction than that of self. This will not fail to attract the attention of a watching world. The world then is faced with a choice—to accept or reject such a model. To those who reject, that light becomes darkness. But for those who accept, that light illumines their lives and they will not make wrong choices.

C. It discourages works of darkness - More crimes are committed at night than in the daytime.

D. It dispels fear - When light shines, the phantoms of the night just fade away. People who are afraid of the dark prefer to sleep with the light on.

Light even enables discernment to be made-between friend and foe and between truth and counterfeit. It enables work to be done. Light enables plants to grow. Used in modern technology, it aids in telecommunications (fiber optics), helps to heal (lasers), and aids in publishing books.

The light of the Gospel also blesses in so many ways. And Christians who walk in it can in turn help others by sharing the knowledge they have concerning life, death, sin, salvation, God, the devil, heaven and hell. For these are the issues that plague man on a wide scale and for which they are striving to find adequate answers. The light will be recognized, not just in words, but in "good deeds" which lead others to praise our Father in heaven.

In Kumasi, Ghana, African Enterprise has been organizing city-cleaning teams. Before an evangelistic campaign, Christians often ask government leaders if they can clean it up. Then they send out teams of people with makeshift straw brooms and pails of soapy water to scrub the city. Christian workers have cleaned hospitals, city parks, and government grounds before major outreaches.

RESPONSE: Today I am determined to shine for Jesus-the true light of the world!

PRAYER: Lord, I want my life to count for You and Your kingdom. Help me be a lighthouse for You.

Source: Standing Strong Through The Storm - Devotional
© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission


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