[forthright] Jesus Is the Light of the World

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2005 16:32:05 -0600
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Jesus Is the Light of the World
by Richard Mansel
                                                 
Are you scared of the dark? In the light we can
move about our neighborhoods without fear. Yet as
night falls around us the same surroundings
develop an ominous appearance.

Our natural fear of darkness is a necessity,
because so much evil lurks in the darkness. Those
whose feet run to evil are invigorated when night
falls. They hit the streets to perform all forms
of mischief. As a result, we lock our doors and
turn on all the lights to settle our fears.

In John 8:12, Christ says that he is the "light of
the world" (NKJV). Light is associated with
goodness and righteousness, while darkness is
where evil resides. On the paths of life, we are
either on the lighted path or wandering in the
dark woods. As Solomon says in Proverbs 4:19, the
sinner does not know "over what he stumbles"
because the holes and traps are smothered in the
darkness of sin.

This darkness leads people to seek answers in the
wrong places and things. The child who, in his
dark bedroom, mistakes a coat on a door for a
monster is no different than a sinner looking for
answers in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. Both
have been misled by the darkness. In the light,
both would have seen that these objects had no
power over them, unless they had empowered them.

Isaiah 5:20 says, "Woe to those who call evil
good, and good evil. Who put darkness for light,
and light for darkness." Darkness leads us to
mistake the dangerous for the useful.

Light is the most powerful force in the world.
Have you ever considered the power of light? A
candle can be placed in a room that is so
intensely dark that it appears to latch onto you.
Yet the darkness, no matter how powerful, cannot
extinguish the candle. We can find extraordinary
comfort in that fact. Satan cannot, no matter how
hard he tries, make us be lost. The choice resides
with us. We have the choice of selecting the path
to salvation or the path to destruction (1 Peter
5:9; Acts 2:37,38).    

So often we hear people say that they cannot find
happiness or the answers to the big questions of
life. They are far away from God, and darkness is
not only about sin, but confusion. When their
world is illuminated by God's light, everything
becomes clearer, and better decisions can be made.
John assures us that God is good and that no
darkness resides in him (1 John 1:5).
Additionally, he is not willing that any should
perish but that all should come to repentance (2
Peter 3:9).

Sinners are lost in darkness and cannot find the
lighted path that leads to heaven. Christians must
take their light into the world to reach out to
the lost so that they can find the right path.  

Jesus said in Matthew 5:15,16 that Christians are
to be "lights to the world." Can we be a light
like Jesus? Not exactly. Jesus is the true light
of the world. Instead, we become lights when we
stay close to Christ, letting his light reflect
off of us. When we move away from Christ, our
light is no longer seen and our influence brings
only darkness.

If you want to find the light of the world, turn
to Scripture and a Christian who is truly
reflecting the light of the Savior. Christ will
then be easy to find (Matthew 11:28-30).

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