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Lifestyles over 50

The First LED: The Light of the World

Nov 08, 2022 03:20PM ● By Alan Allegra
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

’Tis the season—to drive up the electric bill. Everywhere you turn, or go straight, you see lights. They range from the simple white lights of the Moravians to the multicolored alternating colors of the more contemporary holiday displays. There are the old-fashioned C7s that get hot and the new-fangled LEDs that stay cool. For the uninitiated, “LED” stands for “light-emitting diode.” Long before there were diodes, there was the first LED: “Light-Emitting Deity.”

When Jesus spoke the words of John 8:12, he was standing in the midst of the temple on the last day of the Feast of Booths, the “great day.” Ancient texts tell us that four golden candelabras were lit, and people would dance and sing with torches and great joy. It was said that the light shed its glow all over Jerusalem, in memory of Exodus 13:22–22: “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” Appropriately, the Messiah announced Himself as “the light of the world.” This Light would not only blanket the city—He would shine out over the entire world! (John 1:9). The Jews would be familiar with Psalm 27:1 and perhaps sang it at this time: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” Would they make the connection?

This was the second “I Am” statement of Jesus. These statements alone would attest to Christ’s deity as the Great I Am, God Himself. He is not only the Light—He is the Father of Lights (James 2:17). Earlier in his epistle, John introduced Jesus thus: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Vv. 4–5). Even LEDs burn out, but Jesus never will!

In the natural world, light is essential for life. The same is true in the spiritual realm. “Only when enlightened by God does the nature of reality dawn upon him . . . having turned to God, he receives, along with the gift of salvation, practical ‘orientation for his life.’” The light of Christ is trustworthy: “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

What does this mean for us?
  • The lost are spiritually blind: “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
  • Churches can lose their light when their love for Christ fades (Revelation 2:5).
  • We are the light of the world and should reflect Jesus in our works (Matthew 5:14–16).
  • In the new heavens and earth, Christ will again light up the city of Jerusalem, and the Feast of Booths will be fulfilled (Revelation 21:23 & ff.).
C. S. Lewis sums it up well: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it, I see everything else.” Compare Psalm 36:9: “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”

Come to the Living Star of Bethlehem today!