November 8, 2020
This article is based on Pastor Adrian Rogers' message, Jesus, the Light of the World.
No matter where you turn in God's Word, you’ll find that Christmas is about light, for Jesus is the Light of the world. We love to sing "Silent Night, Holy Night," but this great carol is not about night or darkness. It's about the light. "Son of God, love's pure light. Radiant beams from Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace."
When we sing "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," we say, “Hail the Son of righteousness! Light and life to all He brings, risen with healing in His wings."
We sing at Christmas because we have something to sing about. Light has come into this dark world, and we need never walk in darkness again.
But Christmas carols aren’t the reason we link the word “light” with the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle John in his great gospel begins his account of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ with a declaration of who Jesus is—not just from the manger forward, but going back before the beginning of time.
John chapter one tells us who Jesus was before Creation and who He is today. “The Word” in this passage refers to Him:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him; and without Him, nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it… That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. (John 1:1-5, 9)
Think about this: Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was not the beginning of His life. In eternity past, God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit always were. There was never a time when “God in three Persons, Blessed Trinity…” did not exist. He has no beginning and no end.
Seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah looked forward to the time when the Savior would come:
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. (Isaiah 9:2)
That light is the child Isaiah tells us about in that same chapter:
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)
Seven centuries later, Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied that the coming Messiah would…
…give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. (Luke 1:79)
Through Zacharias, the Holy Spirit was announcing that Messiah was about to arrive, bringing light to those in darkness. Thank God, light came into the world in Bethlehem, because we are in desperate shape.
Light is a wonderful picture of Jesus. Luke 2:25-32 tells of a devout elderly man named Simeon whom God had promised would not die before he had seen the Messiah. He was led to the temple by the Holy Spirit at the same time Joseph and Mary brought Jesus there as an infant. Simeon took the Lord Jesus in his arms saying, “…my eyes have seen Your salvation… a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:30-32).
Christmas is about light. Jesus is the Light of the world.
Bethlehem’s child was the "true Light" (John 1:9), the pure light of heaven. When the Bible calls Jesus "the light of the world," it's a statement of the sinless, stainless purity of the Son of God. Jesus exposed sin, but He was never contaminated by sin. He could touch sinners, but sin never touched Him. He was undefiled. He was "in the world" (John 1:10) but not of the world.
Because Jesus did not have His origin here, He is pure, incorruptible Light. In the natural world, nothing is as pure as sunlight. Light can never be defiled or corrupted, no matter what it passes through or falls upon. Light can fall on the most loathsome object, yet the light is not touched by it at all. Light exposes sin, but it’s not touched by sin.
In the natural world, the speed of light is constant. It doesn’t change. Albert Einstein said the reason he was able to construct his famous Theory of Relativity was that there is one thing in the world that is constant—the speed of light. Everything else is relative.
Jesus is our constant in the spiritual realm. Hebrews 13:8 says: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He is absolutely unchangeable. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) The sun is not eternal; its energy is slowly being used up. One day even the sun will cease to shine, but the light of Jesus will illumine Heaven throughout eternity.
"The city had no need of the sun or of the moon, to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb [the Lord Jesus Christ] is the light" (Revelation 21:23, emphasis added). In the Holy City, Jesus will be our source of light. We will bask in the direct rays of His glorious light forever.
"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men" (John 1:4). Light and life are inextricably interwoven. You cannot have life without light. Light—photosynthesis—causes plants to produce food. When God brought order out of chaos in Genesis 1:1-2, He said, “Let there be light.” Then He created seas which began to swarm with life. The seeds of Earth began to bud and blossom. Life itself is built on sunlight. Without it, our world would become dark and dead.
"The entrance of Your words gives light" (Psalm 119:130). When Jesus came to Earth in Bethlehem, He came to give us life. Everywhere He went during His earthly ministry, He brought life. He said, "I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) When the Holy Spirit shined the light of the Gospel into our hearts, divine photosynthesis took place, producing life where before there was only death.
Light overcomes darkness, not the other way around. "And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it" (John 1:5).
Some translations use the word “comprehend.” Others say the darkness could not overcome, suppress, overpower, extinguish, or put out the light. This is the victory of light over darkness. The history of mankind is the story of the battle between light and darkness.
Satan’s name before he fell was Lucifer, which means light bearer. But Satan rebelled against God, sinned against the light, and is no longer the light bearer. Lucifer, son of the morning, is now Satan, father of the night. A devilish darkness now battles with the light.
Who must win? Darkness has no power against the light. If you want darkness to leave, simply turn on the light. Darkness is powerless to extinguish it. Our Lord is “King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light” (1 Timothy 6:16). You can block out the light, but you can’t put it out.
Rather than praying so much against the powers of darkness, we must realize the power of light. We should release the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, bearing witness of that light. One day we’re going to be made just like the Lord Jesus. And when we see Him, we’ll be like Him. We’ll be transformed into His perfect image. We will have gone from time to eternity.
Praise God for the changeless, constant light of Jesus Christ! No matter how cold and dark your world may seem, it can be brought back to life when the glorious light of the Son of God shines into your heart.
Light and life went out of Adam's race when he sinned in the Garden of Eden. But Jesus is the Light of the world. When we make Jesus both Lord and Savior, the One who entered time and space as a baby in Bethlehem comes in, turns the light on, and life begins for us. He gives eternal life.
If you’re not certain you’re saved, I want to guide you in a prayer right now, and you can ask Christ to come into your heart.
Pray this prayer: Dear God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that You love me and want to save me. Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, who died on the cross to pay for my sins. I believe God raised You from the dead. I now turn from my sin and, by faith, receive You into my life as my personal Lord and Savior. Come into my heart, forgive my sins, and save me, Lord Jesus. In Your name, I pray, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, let us help you with the next steps. Please click here for free downloadable resources or allow us to send you material in the mail to help you get started.