“The Light of the World”
But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared,
not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace
we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Of all the celebrations, the most wonderful beyond words is to celebrate the incarnation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – “The Light of the World.” This vivid name is one of many beautiful names regarding Christ. We all know that this metaphor is referring to Jesus, but what was He really saying when He called Himself that? There are multiple different reasons behind this name. “The Light of the World” signifies a symbol, Christ’s Deity and the promised Savior. (John 8:12)
The Light of the World first emphasizes a symbol of light. The Word of God tells us that this “light” is one of the things God is said to be. I John 1:5 states, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (ESV). This phrase relates to His character. Light is the emblem of His holiness and righteousness!¹ Whereas darkness refers to error or falsehood and most of all sin, which is not able to overcome or overpower light. There is no evil or darkness in our blessed hope, Christ. We, as Christians, can be comforted in knowing that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7, ESV). Wow, that is certainly something to celebrate! What grace and mercy it is for us to have been shown the Light! For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost (Matthew 18:11). Not only is Christ the Light, but if we are in Him, we participate with Him in His life and message of the Gospel (John 14:20; 12:36).
“In Him was life, and the Life was the light of men.” John 1:4
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5
Also, when Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world” he was expressing His Deity. The “I am” directs us to just that – His deity. “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ ” (Exodus 3:14) He is the self-existent One. No one created Him; He always was, always is and always will Be. Therefore, Jesus is God manifested in the flesh. Only someone who is God can be the Light of the World. Christ is also the light of the next world too (Rev. 21:23). And, what a glorious appearing that will be!
Because man had fallen into a sinful state in the garden and became spiritually blind, God promised to send a redeemer as the perfect sacrifice, one without spot or blemish. God, in His mercy and love, provided Himself in the flesh as that perfect sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is God manifested in the flesh, who is our One and only source for forgiveness of sins and spiritual security.
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Here in the flesh is the incarnate God of Divine and human natures, who was the long awaited fulfillment of the promised Messiah of the Old Testament – Jesus (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). How thrilling it is for us to be on this side of the Cross where we are can look back at the promised Savior and to Him now as the resurrected Savior.
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh,
God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin…” Romans 8:3
“The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ).
“When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”John 4:25
All in all, the Light of the World signifies three things, a symbol, Christ’s deity and Savior. In our season of celebrating the greatest gift to man let us rejoice that The Light of the World stooped down from Heaven and sacrificed Himself for us. We once lived in darkness, but because Christ has shown us the light of Himself – the Truth, forgiveness of sins and the way of eternal life in Him – we no longer have to stumble around in the dark. We have been set free to honor, worship and glorify Him. We can take joy in His beautiful name as we celebrate this wonderful Advent season. To God be the glory forever and ever!
Love this prayer!
THE GREAT DISCOVERY
The Valley of Vision
I bless thee that I know thee. I once lived in the world, but was ignorant of its Creator,
was partaker of they providences, but knew not the Provider,
was blind while enjoying the sunlight, was deaf to all things spiritual, with voices all around me,
understood many things, but had no knowledge of thy ways, saw the world, but did not see Jesus only.
O happy day, when in thy love’s sovereignty thou didst look on me, and call me by grace.
Then did the dead heart begin to beat, the darkened eye glimmer with light, the dull ear catch thy echo,
and I turned to thee and found thee, a God ready to hear, willing to save.
Then did I find my heart at enmity to thee, vexing thy Spirit;
Then did I fall at thy feet and hear thee thunder, ‘The soul that sinneth, it must die’,
But when grace made me to know thee, and admire a God who hated sin,
thy terrible justice held my will submissive.
My thoughts were then as knives cutting my head.
Then didst thou come to me in silken robes of love, and I saw thy Son dying that I might live,
and in that death I found my all.
My soul doth sing at the remembrance of that peace;
The gospel cornet brought a sound unknown to me before that reached my heart – and I lived –
never to lose my hold on Christ or his hold on me.
Grant that I may always weep to the praise of mercy found, and tell to others as long as I live,
That thou art a sin-pardoning God, taking up the blasphemer and the ungodly,
and washing them from their deepest stain.
¹ Pink, AW. Exposition of the Gospel of John. Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corporation, 1975. Print.
The New Geneva Study Bible. Sproul, R.C.: Nashville, 1995
About the author: The Lord has blessed Christina Lum with a wonderful husband of 23 years and they have one son by God’s tender mercy. The family is of the Reformed faith and they reside in Las Vegas, NV. Christina enjoys studying the Word of God and Reformed Theology. She also continues to make use of her trade as a graphic artist at home.
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You are most welcomed to read a complementary series on The Names of God. Part one here, and part 2, Taking Refuge in the Name of the Lord, here.