John 8:12 – “Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
The year was 1977, Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States, a gallon of gas cost about $.65, and a new move was released that would change the world…well, sort of. That movie was Star Wars. Created by George Lucas, this movie depicted the intergalactic confrontation of the Galactic Empire with the Rebel Alliance. This surface conflict gives rise, however, to an underlying conflict that was not unique to Lucas, the battle between good and evil. In his Star Wars films, Lucas uses metaphor to depict the conflict between good and evil and that is the contrast between light and dark, with light representing the good, and dark representing what is evil.
George Lucas is, of course, not the inventor of this light vs. dark metaphor, it has been used for millennia in this way. It’s a metaphor that is easily understandable and transferable across all cultures. It should come as no surprise then that Jesus uses it to enlighten his audience. But as with many things, Jesus uses the light and dark metaphor in a surprising way.
For Jesus, unlike Lucas, light is not something outside of himself that Jesus is trying to serve or obtain. Rather, Jesus states clearly that HE is the light. Not a light among many, not a light for some and not others, not a light that is an option, but rather THE light of THE world (John 8:12a). The words of Jesus are piercing, and offer a greater hope than any intergalactic hero.
As with his claim to be the bread of life in John 6, Jesus claims in the second half of John 8:12 that he is the “light of life” and following him leads one into life. What kind of life? It is hinted here that those that follow will “never walk in the darkness.” Throughout John chapter 8 we see what Jesus means. Those that were listening to Jesus were having trouble seeing him for who he really was, God in the flesh. And they were having trouble believing in him for their salvation, the forgiveness of their sins, and him as the long awaited messiah. Darkness had lead to blindness, and blindness leads to not being able to see God.
But we have hope! We can see and know God because of Jesus and we should rejoice like the blind man of John 9 and receive our sight from Jesus by looking to him as THE light of the world. We no longer need to remain in the darkness and in our blindness, striving for what we think is right and good. Rather we can know what is right and good and we can receive meaning and purpose in this life partaking in God’s good and right work of light in this world.
We at Treasure Lake Church pray you have found this brief meditation encouraging. We invite all Treasure Lake residents, and those in the surrounding community, to gather with us as we worship Jesus, who is the light of the world. We are located at 1427 Bay Rd. and gather weekly for worship services on Saturday at 6:00pm (children’s ministry provided), and on Sunday at 8:30am (no children’s ministry) and 11:00am (children’s ministry provided) as well as Sunday School on Sunday mornings at 10:00am for all ages. For more information you can visit us on the web at http://www.treasurelakechurch.org/.