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Christmas Day: The Light of the World
Merry Christmas to all of our readers! If you’re looking for a last-minute free gift idea, why not share this message with friends and family?
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.””
John 8:12 NLT
John 8 begins with the tale of the adulterous woman brought to Jesus, who is teaching in the temple, for judgement shortly after the annual Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). The scribes and Pharisees in attendance are looking for a way to catch Jesus breaking the religious law, which would result in death by stoning for the woman being caught in adultery. Jesus, of course, displays both wisdom and mercy by saying “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone! (NLT), which quickly disperses the crowd. With that, He tells the woman to “Go, and sin no more.”
After this powerful scene and telling the woman to repent, Jesus returns to teaching again and proclaims the words in today’s verse. Many of the ceremonies and symbols of the Feast of Tabernacles focused on the pillar of fire that provided light to Israel at night during the Exodus. Here, Jesus takes this symbol and applies it to himself, saying “I am the light of the world.”
His statement contrasts with the darkness of the religious leaders opposing Jesus, who just tried to trap Him by seeing what He would say about the adulterous woman. Notice also that His statement begins with the words “I Am”, the phrase referring to God over 300 times in the Bible. (Barb did a deep dive into the I AM statements starting in May of 2022)
Following Jesus, we no longer have to walk in darkness. It is as if we were being led by Jesus on a dark path while He holds a torch — He is the giver of light, we need only to follow Him to walk in the light.
The Hebrew scriptures often refer to God’s Word as light. For example, Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (NLT)”, while Psalm 43:3 states “Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.(NLT)”
On this day just after the Winter Solstice when the daylight hours are short and the nights are long, we can take comfort in knowing Jesus, the light of the world.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Our Father in Heaven, when temptation has a grip on me, give me the wisdom and strength to follow You. Guide me with Your light when the path is dark. I know You will never leave me, and I will follow You forever. AMEN.