Recently, I was listening to a podcast by Ravi Zacharias, a great apologist and author, whom I respect very much. In his podcast titled Jesus Among Other Gods Part 2, he posed some very good questions: “When you are looking for life, how do you decide on life’s perfection? How do you know what life is meant to be like?”
In this world, we all have unique challenges and situations to overcome. There are many people facing extremely difficult issues but continue to wander around in the dark wondering what they should do!
“My marriage stinks. What am I supposed to do about it?”
“Why won’t my husband do what I need him to do?”
“How come my wife is so irritating?”
“I don’t understand how to get my teenager (or young adult) to grow up and get out on her own”
“Why is my home so chaotic?”
“Why is there never enough money in the bank? Where does it all go?”
... and on and on.
The amazing thing is that we can know what to do if we understand Who has the answer.
In Scripture, Jesus makes many claims and statements about Himself, including the outrageous, bodacious claim that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:16). I like John 8:12 in particular because it is so rich and deep in symbolism and meaning. It is one of seven of the great “I Am’s” of Jesus Christ establishing his godhood and deity. Read this verse slowly and out loud 3-5 times. Really hone in on the meaning of “light” and how light helps us in practical ways.
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’”
The primary purpose of light is to illuminate the darkness so we can see. Light can take the form of a flame, as from a single candle, lighting up a dark corner or room; or a flashlight that lights up the path to go down; or an exit light illuminating the way to escape. A beacon light, like a lighthouse, is a beautiful illustration of light that serves as a warning of potential danger, but can also be a signal for home or a reference point for sailors in a storm.
As “The Light,” Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, does all of these things and much more. His “light” also inspires a thought or idea in the mind; He helps us make sense out of confusion and brings order to chaos. He shows us the difference between right and wrong, truth and falsehood, and provides spiritual nourishment, shining truth on the way to live rightly (Matt. 7:13-14).
I love the fact that as the capital “L” light, we don’t have to wander about aimlessly on this earth wondering what in the world we’re supposed to do or how we're to live! By studying His life and His teachings, we can know the difference between what is good and what is sinful, and how to live rightly and what to avoid. When a person decides to follow Jesus, He becomes their Light, their way -- the illuminating source in this life. Isn't it wonderful that you don’t have to live in darkness any longer, that is, unless you just like living that way!
Join me next time as I look at the second part of John 8:12 -- following Jesus. What does it really mean to "follow" Jesus and how do we do that practically?
I would love to hear from you about some of the ways Jesus has been your source of light. You can email me directly at email@example.com. Remember, a great life is only as great as its relationships!
P.S. Check out previous Life Is Relationships issues. Click here to visit our blog.
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