The IT department had been working 12 hour days for four weeks in a row. Two guys were talking about how badly they needed some time off, but until their project was completed,  time off was prohibited.

One of the guys suddenly lifted his head. “I know how to get some time off work” the man whispered.

“How?” asked the second worker.

Instead of answering, the man quickly looked around. No sign of his Boss. He jumped up on his desk, kicked out a couple of ceiling tiles and hoisted himself up. “Look!” he hissed, then swinging his legs over a metal pipe, hung upside down.

Within seconds, the Boss emerged from his office at the far end of the floor. He saw the worker hanging from the ceiling, and asked him what on earth he thought he was doing.

“I’m a light bulb” answered the public servant.

“I think you need some time off,” barked the Boss. “Get out of here – that’s an order – and I don’t want to see you back here for two days! You understand me?”

“Yes sir”, the public servant answered meekly, then jumped down, logged off his computer and left.

The second worker was hot on his heels.

“Where do you think you’re going?” the boss asked.

“Home,” he said lightly. “I can’t work in the dark.”

Christmas time is all about the lights! Most of us take time to drive around and see the pretty lights. Most of us put up a tree decorated with pretty lights. We may even put them up on our house. Some of us leave them up all year.

The next few weeks we will be looking at the Light of Jesus Christ. As such, I was trying to find out if there was such a thing a “pure light”. The more I researched, the more my brain was fried.

First of all, to know what ‘light’ is, you have to study the following:

  • Particle theory
  • Wave Theory
  • Electromagnetic theory
  • Quantum theory
  • Wave–particle duality
  • Quantum electrodynamics

Plus, there is light we can see and there is light we cannot see with the naked eye. Imagine a light which you can not see.

Now if there is any thing such as pure light, it is achieved by a process called: “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. We hear the abbreviation: LASER.

But even with LASERS light is not always pure, and there are different methods of light amplification. This requires  the study of:

  • Continuous wave operation
  • Pulsed operation
  • Q-switching
  • Mode-locking
  • Pulsed pumping

My mind grew numb reading about light, and I never could get a grasp on if there is such a thing as naturally occuring “pure light”.

I did discover something known as “Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helioophthalmic Outburst Syndrome” People with ACHOO syndrome start sneezing when suddenly exposed to bright light, (usually mutliple times) consecutively. The condition affects 18-35% of the human population.(Wikipedia)

I did find out what “true light” is:

John 1:6-9 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

John the Baptist was called to prepare the way for the true light.

What is “true light”?

  • True used here, means real, genuine, not fake, not artificial.

True, conformed to truth (John 4:37; 19:35). In the sense of real, unfeigned, not fictitious (John 17:3, meaning the only true God, not feigned like idols; 1 Thess. 1:9; 1 John 5:20; Rev. 3:7; Sept.: 2 Chr. 15:3; Isa. 65:16). Spoken of what is true in itself, genuine, real, as opposed to that which is false, (pseudés <G5571>)[1]

Now this “true Light” is also called “great light in Isa 9:2:

Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Now if Jesus is the True Light and the Great Light, then that means there is a fake light, or an artificial light, or a light which is lesser in its power and effect. What makes Jesus Christ the True Light? And here the Bible defines what makes True Light, Pure Light, Great Light. Look to the beginning verses of John:

John 1:1-5 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Verse 4&5 tells us what makes light true and great-it produces life in mankind, and the darkness does not overcome it.

I. The Character of the True Light

A.THE TRUE LIGHT IS LIFE.

Normal living things need light to grow. With very rare exceptions do things grow in absolute darkness. Most of us know about “photosynthesis.” The word ‘photo’ means ‘light,’ and the word synthesis means ‘to put together.’ Green plants produce food by putting chemicals together with light.

It is light that causes plants to produce food, and the whole life chain of animals and man depends on this process.  Life itself is built on the sunlight.  Without the sunlight, our world would become cold and dark and dead. If a man is forced to live in absolute darkness, eventually he will go blind, because the nerve endings of the optic nerve will die.

Jesus is the True Light that brings True Life to dying man. We are born into darkness, and unless our eyes are opened to the Light of Jesus Christ, we will die spiritually blind and dead.

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He came to give us life.  When the Holy Spirit shined the light of the Gospel into our hearts, there was a divine photosynthesis that took place, producing life where before there was only death.

The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand. Psalms 119:130

Jesus is the Word and Jesus is the True Light, shining from itself and by itself.

If the Life of the Son of God IS the light that shines in the darkness (which is what verse 4 says) then there are at least four things we can say about this light.

  1. The TRUE light of life has energy and power because the life of the Son has energy and power.
  2. The True light of life has purpose and motion. It is not static like a lamppost or a lighthouse on the shore. It plans and moves. It shines now here now there. It is alive with the life of the Son.
  3. The True light of life grows and expands. That is the way the Life of the Son of God is. His life is a fountain of life (Psalm 36:9). Once the rays start coming out of this light they extend farther and farther and farther.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. Psalms 36:9

4.  The True Light of life gives birth to children of light.

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. John 12:36

B.TRUE LIGHT IS NEVER OVERCOME

It is possible for the darkness to overcome the light in our homes. The power can go off, the batteries in our flashlights can go dead, the fuel in our lanterns can be used up. But this can never happen in the spiritual realm. The darkness cannot prevail because Jesus is the true light that “shines in the darkness.” John doesn’t say Jesus is the true light that will shine or that did shine. Rather, he expresses continuing action. He tells us that Jesus has shone, that He is shining, and that He will shine. As the light of the world, Jesus never ceases to shine. Therefore, the darkness has not and does not and will not overcome the light.

  • No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
  • And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” Revelation 5:5
  • And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer. Revelation 6:2
  • They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” Revelation 17:14

II. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE TRUE LIGHT

WHAT DOES THE TRUE LIGHT MEAN TO YOU AND ME?

A.THE TRUE LIGHT APPEARED FOR OUR SALVATION

During the Festival of Lights Jesus declared to the celebrants:

“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

“Hanukkah” or “Festival of Lights” is celebrated for eight days commencing on the 25th day of the month of Kislev (November to December). It celebrates the events which took place over 2,300 years ago in the land of Judea, which is now Israel. It begins in the reign of Alexander the Great, who conquered Syria, Egypt, and Palestine, but allowed the lands under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy.

More than 100 years after Alexander the Great, Antiochus IV rose to power in the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Greek priest in the Temple, massacuring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. One of the groups which opposed Antiochus was led by Mattathias (Matitiyahu) the Hasmonean and his son Judah Maccabee (“The Hammer”).

This small band of pious Jews led guerrilla warfare against the Syrian army. Antiochus sent thousands of well-armed troops to crush the rebellion, but the Maccabees succeeded in driving the foreigners from their land. According to historical accounts, Jewish fighters entered Jerusalem in December 164 BC. The Holy Temple, the Jewish religious center, was in shambles, defiled and desecrated by foreign soldiers.

The Maccabees cleansed the Temple and re-dedicated it on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. When it came time to re-light the Menorah (the multi-branched lampstand), they searched the entire Temple, but only one small jar of oil bearing the pure seal of the High Priest could be found. Miraculously, the small jar of oil burned for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be brought.

From then on, Jews everywhere have observed a holiday for eight days in honor of this historic victory and the miracle of the oil. The observance of Chanukah features the lighting of a special Chanukkah menorah with eight branches (plus a helper candle), adding one new candle each night.

It was during this particular occasion that Jesus Christ pronounced Himself as the “Light of the World.”

The Significance of Jesus Proclamation was that He was our Savior! He is the one who came to save us from the darkness of sin!

Jesus Appeared for our Salvation!

When Zechariah (father of John the Baptist) could finally speak, this is what He said of Jesus:

(Luke 1:78-79)”the tender mercy of our God, with which the Sunrise (Dayspring –  Messiah’s coming would be like coming of dawn, His light driving away darkness of sin,) from on high shall visit us, to shine upon (epiphaino) those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

When the hour of mankind looked darkest, when our world was pitch-black and hopeless, the God of love burst into the darkness of this world in the person of his virgin–born Son, in a definitive moment of divine epiphany. His advent was like the dawning of a bright new day, the beginning of a truly new age.

Zechariah described the birth of Jesus as “epiphaino”- An Appearing.

Appeared (epiphaino from epí = over, upon + phaíno = to shine) literally means to shine upon. It means to bring to light or to show upon.

In the Old Testament:

  • The first use of epiphaino in the Greek translation of the Septuagint (LXX) records that Jacob “built there an altar, and called the name of the place Bethel for there God appeared (epiphaino) to him…” (Ge 35:7)
  • Another use is in the well known Aaronic blessing –The Lord make His face to shine upon (epiphaino) thee, and have mercy upon thee. (Nu 6:25)
  • It is interesting that a frequent prayer in the psalms is for God to make His face shine (epiphaino) upon His servants (see Ps 31:16, 67:1, 80:3, 80:7, 80:19, 119:135)

In the New Testament:

  • For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Titus 2:11
  • But when the kindness of God our Saviour, and his love toward man, appeared, not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7

The APPEARANCE of Jesus should not have been a surprise.

There were over 300 Old Testament prophecies that Jesus fulfilled. Simeon and Anna were expecting the Messiah and rejoiced when they set their eyes upon Him.

(They) continued to speak of Him (the Messiah) to all those who were (earnestly and expectantly) looking for the redemption of Jerusalem (another beautiful Name for Messiah!) (Lu 2:36-38).

  • Have you ever prayed for God to shine His face upon you?
  • Have you prayed for Him to shine the light of Jesus Christ upon your children and your grandchildren?

Jesus Christ, the True Light, was revealed for you and me.

and which now has been manifested through the appearing (epiphaino) of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10

Peter adds that Christ “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared (epiphaino) in these last times for the sake of you” (1 Peter 1:20)

The birth of Jesus was the most significant event in the history of mankind! The True Light now dwelt among man and would now offer True Light to sin darkened souls!

B.THE TRUE LIGHT IS SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER LIGHT!

  1. NOT A SHADOW. The real light in contrast from the dim and shaded light which was conveyed through the types and shadows of the Old Testament ritual.
  2. NOT FALSE. Satan himself, we read, “is transformed into an angel of light” (2 Cor. 11:14), but he appears as such only to deceive. But Christ is the true Light in contrast from all the false lights which are in the world.
  3. NOT A REFLECTION: there are lesser lights which are borrowed and reflected, as the moon from the sun, but Christ’s “light” is His own essential and underived glory.
  4. THE SUPREME LIGHT: He is not ordinary or common. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars; but all other lights pale before Him who is “the light.”

At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 1 John 2:8

Jesus Came as our True Light

Jesus knew His origin and destiny. He declared (John 8:12)  “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

He declared that His witness was enough. He said, “My testimony is true” (alēthēs).

  • It is not false.
  • It is not a lie.
  • It is not a deceptive claim.
  • It is not the claim of an egomaniac setting Himself up as a god.
  • It is not the claim of a man who is out to shatter men’s dreams.
  • It is not the claim of a man who is set on destroying men.

III. WHAT SHOULD BE THE IMPACT OF THE TRUE LIGHT?

A.TAKE HOLD OF LIFE BY FOLLOWING THE TRUE LIGHT:

“for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true)” Ephesians 5:8-9

TRUE LIGHT AND LIFE

  • And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20
  • Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. Revelation 19:11

Jesus Christ – The Light of the World.

No matter where you turn in God’s Word, you will find that Christmas is about light!  We love to sing the Christmas carol, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” But this great hymn is not about the night or about darkness.  It’s about the light.  The third stanza says, “Son of God, / love’s pure light / Radiant beams from Thy holy face, / with the dawn of redeeming grace.”

Again, we sing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” the last stanza inviting us to “Hail the heaven‑born Prince of Peace! / Hail the Son of righteousness! / Light and life to all He brings, / risen with healing in His wings.”

We sing at Christmas because we have something to sing about!  Light has come into the world, and we need never walk in darkness again.

Is there such a thing as pure light? Yes, if it has only one wavelength.

Most light that we see is made up of many different wavelengths.  Sun light is a continuous mixture from the deepest blues to the brightest reds and all colors in between as a prism or a rainbow can show. Pure light produced by a laser can be used for surgery, and for measuring distances with the utmost accuracy. Pure light is used to measure the distance from the earth to the moon within one inch.  This light is bounced back by reflectors left there in the late 1960’s and 1970’s at certain locations on the moon.

So just as pure light can be used in surgery to heal problems, and in astronomy to add accuracy to our measurements, the true light of Jesus Christ shines in the darkness of our sin-sick world, and reveals our shortcomings, and brings healing to our sin-sick souls.

B.IS THE TRUE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST LIVING IN YOUR SOUL? DO YOU HAVE LIFE?

“The true light, which enlightens everyone…”

Tom Peterson, a New Jersey banking executive, was renovating an old farmhouse he’d purchased. It was on the township’s historical register, so he asked members of the local historical society to walk through the house with him. “As we passed an old hanging lamp,” Peterson recalls, “one of them said, ‘Be careful with that because you never know what you might have.’ I tucked that away, but the place was falling apart, so preserving a lamp was the least of my concerns.”

Luckily, the lamp wasn’t damaged as Peterson gutted the house. He eventually worked his way up to the lamp and saw a “Stickley Workshop” stamp on top. Some online research convinced Peterson that he’d found an authentic product of the legendary American furniture company. So he sent a photo to Rago Arts, a nearby auction house, which estimated the lamp would bring $20,000 to $30,000. “I thought, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” Peterson says.

As it turns out, the estimate was way off. When the dust settled, the lamp sold for a whopping $310,000 – $10,000 more than he’d paid for the entire house.

Like Peterson, many fail to recognize Jesus as the light, the true light, of the world. What about you? Do you know Who He is?

For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life. Psalms 56:13


[1] The Complete Word Study Dictionary – New Testament.

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