The Light of the World
"I am the light of the world." These are the words of Jesus according the John 8:12.
If I offered you a choice between light and darkness you would choose light.
I know the Bible says that there are those who prefer darkness because their deeds are evil. But that's our view of what people are doing when they reject the light that Christ brings. People who are outside of Christ rarely intentionally choose darkness. They think they have found their light source.
There are any number of light sources that people choose: many different religions, various psychologies of personal fulfillment, self- development strategies to gain success, training programs to enable you to succeed in sports, financial programs to help you gain wealth, fitness and beauty techniques to increase your physical attractiveness.
These are all "lights" by which people try to navigate their lives toward happiness. It doesn't make sense to these folks to hear us telling them to choose light instead of darkness - they think they have already found their light.
Jesus understood this very well. That's why he chose very carefully the time and place for saying, "I am the light of the world."
The context of these words is given to us in John 7:37 which tells us that Jesus is at the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. John 8:12 is still within that context.
Light played a very significant part in this festival. The Jewish people eagerly awaited the light ceremony that took place each evening of the festival. Four huge gold menorahs (candelabras with seven candles) fitted with wicks from priestly garments were put in place in the Temple court. They were large enough that ladders had to be used to fill their bowls with oil.
Once they were lighted men who had been selected for their religious devotion would begin to dance - usually with torches in their hands. While they danced the priests would play on flutes and other instru ...
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