I AM: The Light of the World

I AM Statements of Jesus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus right out states that he is the light of the world. But what could he have meant by this? There are numerous Old Testament passages that discuss what light and God have to do with one another.
Good morning, and welcome to worship. It has been a doozy of a two weeks, to say the least, but I am thankful to have this place and this people to join in worship of Jesus. There is no better place to be, in my opinion, than the Lord’s house with the Lord’s people. Joining in worship together, whether we lift our voices, hearts, or some combination thereof is what lifts my spirit. I don’t know if you can tell, but I love worship. I hope you do, too.
*insert passages*
Last night, I took our dogs out before going to bed. I noticed it was bright in the back yard. I looked up and saw a bright, what looked to be half, moon. Or at least something close to it. Our resident astronomer wasn’t there so I couldn’t be sure. But what I am sure of is this– it was so beautiful. I woke up this morning, took a look at the sky, and noticed the beautiful stars. They are so easy to see out here. They are bright; the sky is clear; what a view on my way to church this morning. A song we are taught as kids, or at least I was, is “This little light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.” Indeed. Though, we have a different light to take into the world than the light the moon, stars, and sun provide. The church is God’s light to the world through whom Jesus is glorified. The church, made up of individual Christians who are lights to others, takes the Light in to the world. They testify to this light. The church is God’s message-carrier to the world. We, as followers of Jesus, take God’s message, the gospel, to the outer parts of the world.
tells us that we are going to be Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8 NIV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
The message of this passage is what is Jesus teaching his disciples and religious figures of his day about himself? He gives them three options to believe with their respective consequences:
To be a witness to the power of the Holy Spirit is to give testimony, it is to take your light into the world in such a way that the devil cannot blow it out because it glorifies God, and in such a way that demonstrates you have received from the one true Light of this world.
To witness to the power of the Spirit in testimony to Jesus is to talk about Jesus. To ask, “Who is he?” and “What did Jesus do?” There are other questions, but these two are discussed by Jesus in our passage today. What are we saying about him? Are they the same answers he gives us to say?
Though unsatisfactory answers for the Pharisees and ruling officials of the day, due to their hardened hearts and blind eyes, let us see what Jesus says about himself and what his mission was on this earth.

Truth #1: He is Light

He tells them up front he is the light of the world.
John, the writer of this gospel, tells us in his prologue of the Incarnate Word of God. John tells us that the Word was in the beginning with God, and through the Word God created the world. Without the Word nothing would exist. But then notice verses 4 and 5:
John 1:4–5 NIV
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In him, the Incarnate Word, was life and light of all humanity. That light shines in darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it. Light exposes darkness, it exposes evil and sin, and those cannot overcome the light.
Jesus right out states that he is the light of the world. But what could he have meant by this? There are numerous Old Testament passages that discuss what light and God have to do with one another.
Psalm 27:1 NIV
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
Isaiah 42:6 NIV
“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,
The Isaiah passage referenced concerns the Lord’s Servant. It is one of the Servant Songs from where we read the passage of the servant marred beyond recognition and bearing our sin.
Our passages’s events are taking place during the Feast of Tabernacles. reminds us of the tabernacle as it was originally set up after Moses, through God’s leading, brought the people out of Egypt:
Exodus 13:17–22 NIV
When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.” After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
You see, this role of “light” that Jesus is claiming is reserved for YHWH alone. foreshadows the giving of light before the Tabernacle.
Exodus 25:37 NIV
“Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.
These allusions to the Old Testament are incredible. Just like people then, we need to know our Old Testament and its relevance to our lives today. This teaching pericope from Jesus is one of the many examples as to why we should! If we do not know our Old Testament, we might end up questioning Jesus just as the Pharisees.
Conclusion: Again, many people’s problem is not that they agree with the message of Jesus, it is they have a problem with his being Messiah and what consequences that bears on their lives. It means their lives are no longer determined by their law but by the Law of God.
Jesus is making a monumental claim, as he is known to do! In the OT, light signified the presence of God. So here Jesus is claiming to be the God’s presence that saves his people from bondage. The Light of the World, Jesus, tells us in him is life. We are now to take this passage as a calling to stand before men and women on this earth and tell them to repent and believe in Jesus for he has come and will come again. It is to tell them that Christ purchased for them redemption of God through his death on the cross in a way that they could not because those are the consequences of his demonstratively stating: I am the light of the world.
The consequences of this statement are:
The consequences of this statement are:
You believe and walk in light and have life.
You do not believe and walk in darkness.
In the OT, light signified the presence of God. So here Jesus is claiming to be the God’s presence that saves his people from bondageIn light there is forgiveness of sin and redemption. In darkness there is judgment and condemnation.

Truth #2: He is: Judge

The pharisees questioned the validity of Jesus’ testimony. There needs to be another witness. This shows their lack of understanding that he is the light. If they understood they would not have asked. But they asked anyway. They do not trust his message. Jesus rebukes them because he knows from where he has come and that is the same place to where he is going. But the Pharisees do not understand.
James, in his sermon last week, reminded us that our troubled hearts can be calmed and stilled by Jesus because he is the way, truth, and life. He is the light of the world in whom there is life. Our hearts are calmed because we know where he is because he assured us of that himself.
The Pharisees judged through their tradition.
Jesus judged them through his truth, for he is the embodiment truth.
The question for us before him is do we believe his truth?

Truth #3: He is Calling

The Pharisees missed Jesus’ calling. They asked where his Father is because Jesus claims to be sent by the Father. In his rebuke he tells them they do not know him or his Father, because if the knew the Father, they would know Jesus. That is an open invitation, dear friends, to know the father.
You see, this is why we study Scripture–so that the Christ revealed therein might reveal to us the will and glory of God that we might be lights to the world just as Christ is the Light () Jesus’ being the Light to all humanity therefore allows us to be so. Jesus’ testimony of himself through the will of the Father holds implications for us as we testify to him with our words and lives today.


Many people’s problem is not necessarily the message of Jesus, though plenty certainly disagree, but, more importantly, it is with his being Messiah and what consequences that brings to bear on their lives. It means their lives are no longer determined by their law but by the Law of God.
Do you hear who Jesus is? Do you hear what his mission was, and what our mission is today?
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