Jesus is the Light
Isaiah 42:6-7 “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
I will take hold of your hand.
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people
and a light for the Gentiles,
7 to open eyes that are blind,
to free captives from prison
and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Throughout the Old Testament God promises that a light will come. This light will bring salvation to the ends to the earth. This light will open eyes that are blind and free captives from prison. He will deliver people from the darkness into the light. And that is what I am going to share about.
Jesus fulfilled this prophecy many times over. But probably the clearest fulfillment is in John 9. This is the story of the blind man whom Jesus healed. Please turn with me in your own Bibles to John 9. But rather than read the whole section first I will read some select verses as we go through.
I. The statement – I am the Light
John 9:6 – While I am in the world, I am the Light of the World.
The Gospel of John focuses on who is Jesus. What is His essence? What is His divine nature? In chapter 8, he records Jesus telling the Jews “Before Abraham was born, I am.” This is a claim to divinity. John records seven different “I AM” statements of Jesus. You can see these on the screen. Each one of these “I AM” statements shows us something about Jesus’ divinity. Each one shows us one aspect of His nature and one aspect of our relationship to Him.
In this article we are going to focus on His statement, I am the Light of the world. He makes this statement here and also in John 8:12.
What does this statement mean?
A. Jesus is THE light of the world. Singular. There is no other true light, but Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 11:14 it tells us that Satan appears as angel of light. His light does not come from Jesus. He is a pretender. Many people, many religions, many authors, many teachers may promise enlightenment. Only Jesus can truly give it. That means every person has two choices. Jesus or darkness. There is no third choice.
B. Everyone needs Jesus to see. Without Jesus, we cannot understand God. Without Jesus, we cannot understand the truth. Without Jesus, we cannot fathom the meaning of life. Many people try to understand the mysteries of the universe on their own. The first Buddha is said to have meditated under a tree for seven weeks. At the end of this, he got the wrong answer. The enlightenment was either from his own mind or something worse.
Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible and cut out all the references to miracles and the supernatural. He looked at himself as the source of wisdom and truth and rejected Jesus as the Light. He got the wrong answer.
Ancient philosophers like Plato and Socrates and modern philosophers like Nietzsche and Karl Maarx try to find the meaning of life and world mysteries through their own mind and logic. This led Nietzsche to utter the famous phrase, “God is dead.” They got the wrong answer. Their own minds were dark without the the light and without the light they could not see or understand the truth.
Every person needs to see Jesus. He is the way. He has the answers. You cannot find them on your own.
C. He both leads to the truth and exposes sin and lies.
What does a light do? It shines and allows us to see. Sometimes it shows something good. You come home, turn on the light and discover a surprise birthday party. You turn on the light in the bathroom and discover your husband cleaned it while you were sleeping at night. Or maybe you were dreaming. You are in the forest and your flashlight shines on the path so that you can stay on it. The lighthouse guides the ships to safety.
But a light can also show us something bad. You turn on the light in your kitchen and discover cock roaches running around. You open the hood of your car and find pieces of the engine are rusting or cracking. When the Light came into the world, the world hated it because its deeds were evil. Jesus exposed the pride, hypocrisy, and greed of the leaders. They didn’t like it.
Light is very necessary, but it can be uncomfortable. We basically have a choice. We can come into the light voluntarily and receive mercy and forgiveness for those ugly sins. Or we can try to hide them and then we can receive justice and judgment.
Luke 8:17 – For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Application: If there is anything in your life that you are trying to hide and keep in the dark, come to the Light today. Confess it to Jesus. Don’t try to keep it a secret anymore. Confess it to a brother or sister in Christ or your spouse. Nasty things like to grow under rocks. So turn over the rocks and let the light shine into every corner of your life and heart.
II. The miracle – Jesus opened the eyes of the blind man.
A. Jesus’ miracle proves He is the light –
Jesus’ statement is a big statement. He is claiming to be the single source of truth, goodness, and direction for the universe! But a lot of people claim to have the answers. How could Jesus’ listeners have confidence to know that if they followed His light, they wouldn’t be led astray?
They can know it with certainty because He proved it. Jesus backed up His claim with a miracle. He healed a man who was born blind. Jesus did miracles right before or after many of His “I AM” statements to prove that He could back up His claims. He said, “I am the bread of life” and He fed five thousand people with 5 loaves. He said, “I am the good shepherd who lays down His life for the sheep” and He then laid down His life. He said, “I am the resurrection and the life” and He proceeded to raise Lazarus from the dead. And here he says, “ I am the light of the world” and then heals the blind. Jesus’ miracles go further than just showing us His power. They were intended to teach us clear lessons about who He is.
So when deciding whether to follow God’s way or a New York Times Bestseller ask yourself, “who made the blind to see?” Then follow that person.
B. The physical miracle demonstrates a spiritual truth.
This man had lived his entire life in darkness. Did you ever think about what it means to be blind, to never have seen? Blind people are in the world like us, but they don’t experience it like us. There are many things we experience that they can have no comprehension of. There is no way for blind person to understand colors. What do flowers look like? What does the sky look like? They have never experienced the joy of looking at a beautiful sunset or a starry night. They cannot see smiles or frowns. Concepts of space and distance and height are vague. They cannot fully understand how we see and experience the world.
When Jesus healed the blind man, he gave him freedom. He saw things he had never seen. He experienced the world in a completely new way. And there was no going back. This physical act of healing is comparable to the spiritual act of being born again.
1 Corinthians 2:14 – The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
When a person is born again and receives the Holy Spirit, Jesus opens their eyes spiritually. It is like living in a new world. We now see and understand things we never could before. Those without Jesus cannot comprehend His grace, forgiveness, answered prayer, eternity or His love like we can. We see the world in spiritual terms that we didn’t even understand before.
Application: Thank God for your sight!
III. The change – The man was not the same.
A. He demonstrated his faith by action –
Notice that when Jesus heals this man, he asks him to do something. He has to go wash himself in a pool (how far is it?) before he can be healed. Now what if this man doesn’t believe Jesus? What if he doesn’t think it will work and doesn’t want to go across town to wash himself for nothing? What will happen to him? The answer is nothing. This man had faith in Jesus and his faith was demonstrated in action. He had hope that he would be healed and he believed it was worth his time to follow Jesus’ instructions.
B. People noticed he was different –
When people met him they were surprised at the change that had taken place (verses 8-9). Even though it is evident a miracle had taken place, not everybody believes it. But they did see it. He wasn’t a beggar anymore. He wasn’t blind. He wasn’t relying on other people to lead him around.
Application: After coming to Jesus, can the people around you see a difference in your life? If I was to go to your family and ask them if you are different, what would they say? Would they know that coming to Jesus drastically changed your life and behavior? Or would they know that you came to Jesus at all? God wants us to shine the light with our actions so that people will see the difference in our lives and begin to ask questions.
When people start to ask questions and become curious, then we share our testimony.
C. He shared his testimony – One thing that impresses me about this man is how bold he was to share his testimony! He had only encountered just encountered Jesus, but he was not afraid to speak up and tell people what he had experienced. Throughout this chapter he shares his story again and again. He shares first to the crowds, then to the Jewish leaders, and again a second time to the Jewish leaders.
Read John 9:24-34
This blind man was a beggar that morning. It was true that he had no education. He could not read or write. He was poor, and outcast. He was disrespected and marginalized by society. But Jesus showed Him attention and compassion. And this gave him confidence to speak. It is true he didn’t know a lot, but what he knew he kept saying without compromise. And the more they rebuked him, the more bold he became. He had a story to tell and he wasn’t going to allow people to silence him. The more he spoke, the easier it was to keep talking! And soon his testimony turned into preaching as he concluded that Jesus must be from God.
The Jews persecuted this man and finally banned him from coming to the temple. But he still shared. He didn’t compromise. He didn’t shut his mouth in order to become popular. He became unpopular to the Jewish leaders, but right after this Jesus came and found Him. He was unpopular with the world, but popular with Jesus.
This man gives us a great example of sharing Jesus’ light by sharing our testimony.
Application: You have a story to tell. Like this man, you don’t know the answers to all of people’s questions. You probably haven’t memorized the Bible from cover to cover. But God doesn’t ask you to tell people what you don’t know. He asks you to tell people what you do know. God has done something amazing in your life. He has brought you to this point in your spiritual journey. He has brought you to this country, this city. This man with no training, no education, and a brand new relationship with Jesus started right away sharing. You don’t have to wait. Who can you share your testimony with? It could be a salvation testimony. It could be a testimony of answered prayer. It could be a “how God led me to China” testimony.
I would encourage each of you to shine the light by regularly sharing your testimony with others
IV. The opposition – Many people reject the light.
Although this man was bold to share and a great miracle had clearly taken place, most people rejected him and Jesus. Most people reject the light. It is offensive to them. They prefer to keep living their life their own way. They prefer their sins.
Do not be surprised or discouraged if you are rejected when you share with others. As in the parable of the sower, there are many different soils. Keep sowing more seeds and some of those seeds will fall on the good soil.
V. The reaction – Worship Jesus (38).
What is the end result of all of this? How does being healed change this man’s life. See verses 35-38.
Before he couldn’t see anything. After, he looked at his Savior face to face.
This man who was a beggar gets it. He worshiped Jesus. Jesus didn’t tell him not to do. He accepts it because it is the fitting response. What a beautiful story. And what a beautiful response.
To review, here are three key applications from the passage today:
A. Let Jesus open your eyes. The initial act is important and many of you have had your eyes opened. But even after this, you need His light to see this world clearly. He gives discernment. He gives clarity. He gives direction. In Psalm 119:105 it says that the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. Through prayer ask Jesus for His leading. Through the Word, continue to improve your eyesight.
B. Worship Jesus. Worship is the natural response for everything He has done for us. He is worthy. Think about your life for a minute. Think about everything He has done for you. Think about where you are now and where you would be without Him. Think about the gift of spiritual sight which He has given you. Just thank Him. This should move you to put aside all distractions and just worship Him. If nothing else, than let today be a day of worship where we lift up our voices and hearts to praise our King.
C. Shine for Jesus. Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” The implication is that when He is not in the world we need to shine for Him, reflecting His light. And Jesus said this in Matthew: “You are the light of the world.” We shine by action and by words. Our actions show we are different than before and attract people to God. Our words tell them how they can get there.
Revelation 21:23 – The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.
In the new heavens and the new earth, we will be there face to face with Jesus. There will be no need for the sun or moon or electricity. Because Jesus is the light. Jesus is the light. Are you letting Him light up your path?