Light in a Dark World
Jan 3, 2020 · Courtney Jacob
What’s the first thing you do when you walk into a dark room? Most likely, you turn on a light.
Light illuminates. It alleviates our fears of what or whom might be lurking in the dark. And it shows us where hazards are located so we don’t get hurt.
The Bible uses the image of light to offer us a deeper understanding of God’s gift to us in Jesus Christ. The stark contrast between light and darkness helps us better understand the gift of God’s light and the grace Jesus Christ brings to our dark, sin filled world. In our Groundwork series, “Light in a Dark World,” we’ll expose hazards, alleviate fears, and illuminate truth by studying three important New Testament passages that teach us valuable lessons about the light of Jesus Christ and what it means for our discipleship.
Light in the Bible
God uses images of light throughout both the Old and New Testaments to offer his people hope and revelation. Isaiah 9:2 prophesies about God’s hope filled light:
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Psalm 27:1 reminds us of the antidote to fear: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?” and in Psalm 119:130 we see the power of God’s light to bring wisdom and understanding: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
In this Groundwork series, we’ll study two key New Testament passages, one from the gospel of John and the other from Mark, in which Jesus builds on the Old Testament’s rich use of light imagery to illuminate exactly who he is and who we are. In the first passage, Jesus Christ declares: “I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). In the second, he tells his followers, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Through these verses we gain a greater understanding and deeper appreciation for Jesus and what it means for us to be his followers.
Celebrating Christ’s Light
The revelation of Christ and his light in the world is of utmost importance for Christians, as it offers us great hope and reminds us of our salvation. This event is so important, that the Christian church has dedicated an entire season to remembering and celebrating the coming of Christ’s light, the season of Epiphany,
Epiphany falls directly after the season of Christmas and before Lent. Many churches celebrate the beginning of Epiphany on January 6, twelve days after Christmas, in commemoration of the visit of the three wisemen. Both the day and season of Epiphany celebrate the revealing of Christ to us, his appearing in our world. The word epiphany itself means revelation, manifestation, or appearing. And light is a significant symbol of Epiphany.
Christ’s Light & Us
Titus 2:11 says, “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” Christ’s light is both our salvation and the motivation that empowers us, his followers, to live holy and upright lives while we wait for his return.
I invite you to celebrate Epiphany with us through our Groundwork series, “Light in a Dark World”
- Jesus is the Light of Life - John 8:12-59
- We are Christ's Light - Matthew 5:13-15
- Our Motivation for Morality - Titus 2:11-15
...and together we’ll grow in our understanding of Jesus Christ and learn how his light provides both our purpose and motivation in discipleship.