Key Verse: “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
—John 12:46, New King James Version
WE WELCOME THE ASSURANCE, given in our Key Verse, that belief in Jesus delivers us from darkness. This is, of course, not literal darkness, but the darkness of mind, character, and behavior which is prevalent in our conflicted world. Although we believe in the literal account of the creation in Genesis, we may also derive an allegorical meaning from it. The Creator focused his attention on bringing light out of darkness on day one, perhaps to demonstrate its relative importance. “Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night.” (Gen. 1:3-5, NKJV) The first day of creation brought the clarity of brilliant light to earth.
We know that long periods of darkness, even gray skies, tend to make us feel a bit down, but light cheers us up again. We need light in order to live, not only physically but also spiritually. Of that necessity the prophet Isaiah wrote, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”—Isa. 9:2, NKJV
The “great light” of which Isaiah wrote was Jesus. When he came to Capernaum, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, the Gospel account states that it fulfilled that “which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—Matt. 4:13-17, NKJV
The message of the kingdom of heaven illuminates many hues in the spectrum of divine love—in particular mercy, compassion, forgiveness and repentance. “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 8:12, NKJV) This is a great benefit that we who believe in Jesus enjoy in the present time. We have the light of life. Even when darkness surrounds us, as trials and difficulties arise in our lives, we enjoy the light of Christ’s love.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4,5, NKJV) How wonderful this world would be if all could comprehend the true light. What peace would prevail, and what love and care for our brothers and neighbors would guide society. That day is not yet, but soon Jesus will enlighten the world in the kingdom of God. Even the darkest corners will receive the great light that will heal and bless. Isaiah spoke of the magnitude of this saturating knowledge of God in the kingdom. “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea.”—Isa. 11:9, NKJV
May we render honor to Jesus, the “light of the world,” by living according to his teachings. “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”—Eph. 5:8, NKJV