“I am the light of the world”
“You are the light of the world”
Jesus said two apparently contradictory things about light. In John 8:12 He said “I am the light of the world.” In Matthew 5:14 He said to His disciples “You are the light of the world.” If we look closely it does not take long to see that there is really no contradiction. We can be the light of the world to the extent to which we reflect Jesus. We can be light to a dark world if they can see Jesus in us.
Let us pause to reflect a little deeper on the meaning of these sayings. If Jesus is the light of the world, then without Him there is darkness. Whatever else is used to help mankind, however helpful it may seem to be in the short term, in the long term it will miss the mark. It will fail to shine brightly enough to make any lasting difference. I do not mean by that to denigrate good government or the welfare state or education or medicine or science and technology. All are used by God to alleviate suffering and to make lives better. But none of them can change the human heart. Only God can do that, and He does it through Jesus. That is why He is the light of the world and there is no other.
But Jesus also said that His disciples were the light of the world. That means that today we are the light of the world. We have been entrusted with the only message that can bring lasting relief to a sin-sick world. We have the only medicine that makes any real difference on the human heart. That is why Bill Hybells is right to say that “The local church is the hope of the world.”
So, what about us? As we contemplate an exciting new beginning, what hope will we offer to the communities around us? Do we believe God can use us to make a difference? Let us dream big dreams of what God can do through us!
Yours in Christ,
Ian Thompson (Acting pastor)