THE POWER OF LIGHT
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 12:8 NKJV).
Since the invention of the incandescent light bulb in 1879 by Thomas Edison, the use of electric light or artificial lighting has become part of our everyday life. Our dependency on it has gotten to a point where its usage is synonymous to civilization and modernity.
It could be argued that, there are THREE kinds of lights: The natural, the spiritual and the artificial. The natural light is the light we get from the sun. The spiritual light is the light Jesus alluded to about himself; when he said; “I am the light of the world.” The artificial light is the light we get from electricity.
The opposite of light is darkness; light symbolizes day; while darkness symbolizes night. The sun controls the day; while the moon which sometimes reflects the sun controls the night. God, in his divine wisdom, created animals who would comfortably function during the day; examples are; humans, dogs, elephants, squirrels, lizards, song birds etc. Similarly, there are nocturnal animals that are active during the night; for example, hedgehogs, foxes, owls, bats, frogs etc.
Night or darkness is often associated with evil. Usually, people are scared to walk or sit alone in darkness. Their fears are heightened when there are limited artificial lights around. It is not unusual therefore for parents to offer some safety tips to their children; for example; “avoid back alleys in the night”, “try not to be alone during the night” and “don’t stay outside too late into the night”.
The question then is, “What did Jesus mean when he said; “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 12:8b)? Jesus being both divine and human, though saw the physical light around him, he could also see the spiritual darkness in this world. A darkness he alone could see and discern because, he is the Creator of the universe.
Jesus knows that, the universe was created perfect until Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin. Undoubtedly, this brought darkness to cover the good God intended for man and the universe. This darkness is deceptive and camouflaged in nature. Its potent could lure everybody; the rich, the poor, educated and non-educated, young or old. It’s designed to cause pain and disruption to humanity. The result of its venom is evident in wars, divisions, dishonesty and selfishness.
It was against this backdrop that Jesus made a clear, powerful statement about himself when he said; “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 12:8b)? This is one of the seven “I Am statements” he used to reveal his identity to the world.
Jesus came into this world of darkness to be a light to everybody. Those who know the importance of natural and artificial lighting will desire to have their spiritual lights turn on to help them navigate their way. With Jesus as our light of this world, we will never falter; nor fall to the temptation of the devil. We will know where and how to tread. so we’ll not stumble. Many people including Christians fall into the trap of the devil whose aim is to cause pain and suffering on mankind.
Let’s hold on to Jesus who has assured us of his identity when he said; “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 12:8b)? As well, let’s remember the words of Peter when he wrote;
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers[a]all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are (1 Peter 5:8-9 NLT).
My second book titled: Understanding Love: Biblical & Cultural Perspectives has just been released. You may order your copy from Amazon.com or through the Publisher @ www.shidaanikei.com.
The first book titled: African Spirituality: Did Africans know God before the arrival of the Missionaries? Could also be purchase on Amazon and shidaanikei.com as well.
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Rev. Dr. & Rev. (Mrs.) Charles & Faustina Mantey
Disciples Revival Church
30 Gordon Mackay Road
Toronto, Ontario M9N 2V6. Canada
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