Posts Tagged ‘True Light’


In one of the All in the Family episodes that aired some years ago, Edith and Archie are attending Edith’s high school class reunion. Edith encounters an old classmate by the name of Buck who, unlike his earlier days, had now become excessively obese. Edith and Buck have a delightful conversation about old times and the things that they did together, but remarkably, Edith does not seem to notice how extremely heavy Buck has become. Later, when Edith and Archie are talking, she says in her whiny voice, “Archie, ain’t Buck a beautiful person.” Archie looks at her with a disgusted expression and says: “You’re a pip, Edith. You know that. You and I look at the same guy, you see a beautiful person, and I see a blimp. Edith gets a puzzled expression on her face and says something unknowingly profound, “Yeah, ain’t it too bad.” Do you see Jesus Christ as the True Light? 

“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…the true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world”. John 1:4,5,9

Jesus confirmed this truth: 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.” In His confrontation with the Pharisees over the woman taken in adultery, Jesus revealed how His light reveals the truth that He can free from sin, from satan, from the law and from judgment. In effect, through His light, God was able to write upon the dust of our sin-damaged lives, that there is now “No Condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1)

True Light of Hope

Matthew reveals another side of the True Light.

Matthew 12:18-21 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory; and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

In the True Light of Jesus Christ, we find Hope!

John the Baptist

In Matthew 11, we find John the Baptist imprisoned by King Herod. The man who shook the nation of Israel is now quiet, and despairing that he will die as a failure. After all, Jesus of Nazareth did not come to free him. Therefore, he sends some of his disciples to ask Jesus:

Matthew 11:2-6 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”

Jesus didn’t say yes, he merely told them to remind John of what he was doing. Blind, Lame, Lepers, deaf, dead, the poor. Then he added, “blessed are the ones who are not offended by me”. Jesus was saying: “John, do not despair, do not give up hope, look what I am doing in fulfillment of Scripture. Just because things do not happen the way you think they should, do not be offended. Never give up hope! I am He! But do not get offended if things do not go the way you think they should! I am Lord and you are not! Vaclav Havel before he became the democratically elected President of the Czech Republic was imprisoned by the communist regime. During one of those imprisonments, he wrote:

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well. However, the certainty that something makes sense. Regardless of how it turns out.

You may react to his definition of hope, because as Christians, we are taught that all things will work for good to those who love God. However, what we usually think is that it will work out for my good. It certainly did not work out for John the Baptist’s good to have his head cut off. It certainly did not work out for Stephen’s good when he was stoned to death. But we do know that everything that happens, regardless of how it works out, will make sense! Why? Because Jesus is Lord and He is in Control!! The only ones who lose hope are those who believe God is not in control!

Job

Job 17:11 My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken.

Job thought that God was treating him unjustly. He could not understand God doing this to him. He imagined that God was making a mistake, that He was not in control. He had all kinds of questions and arguments he would lay before God if he could only get the chance. Finally, God spoke to Job, and Job was silent. Job encountered the great I AM, and knew that He had been in control the whole time, and it all made sense.

I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” Job 42:5-6

Does your life make sense? Have there been times when you were like John the Baptist, wondering what was going on, wondering where God was, wondering if He was in control? Or were like Job, thinking God was unfair, wanting to argue with him. Did you get offended at what was going on? Did you get angry, hurt, upset? Did you lose hope and give in to despair or depression? Did you moan with Job “My hopes have disappeared; my heart’s desires are broken?” Let us look into the Light of Jesus and discover why we should never lose hope, no matter how dark things get.

Matthew 12

Jesus finds himself at odds with the Scribes & Pharisees, because his disciples have picked & eaten corn on the Sabbath. He replies to them:

Matthew 12:3-8 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

1.Jesus is Lord, even of the Sabbath!

  • If we rest, we rest in Jesus, for He is Lord!

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

  • Do not get offended at Jesus. What He does is right, it is just, and He is Lord!

2. He desires a heart that is yielded to Him rather than ‘outward conformance’ or even performance.

  • Only yielded hearts will survive the trials and tribulations of this life!
  • Fake people always wilt under pressure.

Just because you put on a good show of being a Christian does not mean that inwardly you are struggling with doubt, with fears, with despair and with depression, with sins. You can put on a good show, but Jesus knows your heart, He knows whether you are real or fake. Peter presents the heart of a true Christian in six simple verses. This Christian has a new heart, with a new hope, a hope that endures through the fire of trials!

1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

A heart that is yielded totally to Christ is a heart in Love with Jesus, it is a born again heart with a living hope! A fake Christian is putting on a display because of what he thinks he will get-favor from God. A yielded heart is confident that Jesus is Lord of whatever situation you go through! Next, we see a man who is lame in his right hand.

The Man with a withered hand

Matthew 12:9-14 He went on from there and entered their synagogue. In addition, a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”— so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand”. And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

The Lesson here is the Lord of the Sabbath will always be mindful of your needs. His mercy is to be trusted.

DAVID

Psalms 13:1-6 How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? Forever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

David endured hardship after hardship, near death experiences one after another, yet rather than lose hope and get offended at what was happening to him, he strengthened his heart in the Lord. He trusted in the Sovereignty of God, therefore he could rejoice in His salvation.

Apostle Paul

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”

He wrote this three chapters after stating 1:8-9: “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself…” Paul had those moments when things were so dark, so desperate that he despaired for his very life. How did Paul go from one who despairing of life itself to one who is hard pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair, struck down, but not destroyed, never feeling that God had abandoned him.

  • 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
  • 2 Corinthians 4:11 … so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

Paul’s Hope was in God, Paul’s Purpose was that the life of Jesus would be manifested through his life-regardless of what he went through.

The Nation of Israel

God brought horrible judgment upon his own people because of their continual sins against Him. First the Northern and then the Southern kingdoms fell to foreign Kings. Jeremiah was there to witness the fall of Jerusalem and Judea. Here are his own words about his experience:

Lamentations 3:19-24 The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

His heart was in God’s hands, and therefore He trusted in Him! He trusted in God’s tender mercies!

Ezekiel and the Valley of Bones

I love the vision of the dried bones God gave Ezekiel out in the valley:

Ezekiel 37:11-14 Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the Lord.”

Matthew quotes the Old Testament when he declared: “and in his name the Gentiles will hope”. We share in the Hope of Israel!

Before Jesus we were without hope

Ephesians 2:12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope.

  • Jesus is the True Light that brings the Light of Hope to the Gentiles!

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

THE HOPE OF THE BRUISED AND SUFFERING CHRISTIAN.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

Bruised Reed: People used reeds to make into pens in ancient times. The reed is hollow and would hold the ink. If the reed was bruised or bent, the ink would leak and become useless. The writer would break the bruised reed and throw it away. Like a pen, the reed was an instrument of expression. Therefore, I like to think of the reed as representing our voice and ability of expression. Only a dead person does not voice his opinions or share his feelings. The first thing Satan wants to do is to stop us from sharing and expressing our ideas, especially when we speak for the kingdom of God. He will make every effort to cut off our network of friends and isolate us so that we will be discouraged. SMOKING FLAX: A smoking flax or a smoldering wick symbolizes our usefulness and the ability to shine for the Lord. It is no doubt that we have been created to shine for Jesus but when we fall into sins, our wick would become smoldered. We would not shine that brightly anymore. That is when the enemy of our souls seeks to terminate that light. He does that by encouraging people around us to say disparaging words or spread malicious rumors about us. When we allow all these words and rumors to enter our hearts, we would become bitter and angry. Please take note that it is not those gossips or criticisms that smolder our wicks but how we react to them that would terminate our light.

Jesus Christ is the True Light of Hope for Mankind.

By his death for us, he has ‘faithfully brought forth justice’ (Isaiah 42:3) by suffering the justice of God in our place once and for all. Look now to Jesus and find mercy for your bruised and weakened soul. Receive his tender comfort, cleansing, healing and all-sufficient grace. God’s great mercy in Christ is for us ‘bruised reeds’ and ‘smoldering wicks’.

This Hope is the Anchor of Christianity

Hebrews 6:17-20 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Gods Promise to Us

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

The Despair of Mary

After answering the angels, Mary turned around. Suddenly she saw Jesus standing there, but she failed to recognize him. Like the angels, Jesus asked Mary, “Why are you crying?” He then asked her, “Whom are you seeking?” Assuming he might be the gardener, who cared for the tomb, she again poured out her heart’s despair. “Sir, if you indeed have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will take him away” (literally carry him). Her desire to find Jesus’ body and her loving concern to give him a proper burial in a good resting place so consumed her that she never considered that she herself could not possibly carry Jesus’ body to a final resting place. Then Jesus turned her night of gloom into the light of joy. He spoke her name, “Mary”; in such a way, that she knew instantly who he was. From despair, her heart rose to soar in the clouds. “Rabboni!” she exclaimed, which is an Aramaic term of special respect that means, “My Master”. The experience of seeing Jesus alive, risen from the dead, lifted her spirits to a profound joy. Grieving and despairing, she had searched for her dead Jesus, but with joy, she discovered instead her living Savior. He had risen! He was alive! Nothing else mattered to her. Nothing would take away her newfound joy. She threw her arms around him to cling to him, she was so happy to see him and to have him back. Jesus rose! He lives! Our faith clings to, not a dead man who was crucified and buried, but a living Lord and Savior who rose from the dead. We rejoice that he who died to save us lives. Our hearts hold the joyful hope that with our very own eyes we will rise from the dead to see him and hold him who loves us and gives us eternal life. We can rejoice with Job:

Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes–I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

Fanny Crosby

Fanny Crosby probably wrote more hymns than anyone else in history. She wrote over 8000 hymns, and many are in our hymnal today. Fanny gave the Christian world such songs as:

  • A Shelter In The Time Of Storm,
  • All The Way My Saviour Leads Me,
  • Blessed Assurance,
  • Close To Thee,
  • He Hideth My Soul,
  • I Am Thine 0 Lord,
  • Jesus Is Calling,
  • My Saviour First Of All,
  • Near The Cross,
  • Pass Me Not,
  • Praise Him Praise Him,
  • Redeemed,
  • Rescue The Perishing,
  • Safe In The Arms Of Jesus,
  • Saved By Grace,
  • Saviour More Than Life To Me,
  • Take The World But Give Me Jesus,
  • Tell Me The Story Of Jesus,
  • The Lights Of Home,
  • Thou Mighty To Save,
  • To God Be The Glory,

When Fanny was six weeks old, she caught a slight cold in her eyes. The family physician was away. Another country doctor was called in to treat her. He prescribed hot mustard poultices to be applied to her eyes, which destroyed her sight! It was later learned that the man was not qualified to practice medicine, but he had left town and was never heard of again. Fanny never felt any resentment against him, but believed it was permitted by the Lord to fulfill His plan for her life. Though blind, she wrote over 8,000 hymns. About her blindness, she said:

It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow, I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me.

After a visit to the most renowned eye doctor in the world determined her blindness was incurable, she said:

“Mother, if I had a choice, I would still choose to remain blind … for when I die; the first face I will ever see will be the face of my blessed Saviour.”

“And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story – Saved by grace.”

Whose face do you see in times of darkness and despair? Whose hand do you see reaching for you when things look hopeless? When you see a difficult situation do you see the Beauty of Christ, or do you just see an Ugly Blimp on your back? Let me assure you that Jesus is still Lord! He is the one who can be trusted completely! He is the anchor of our HOPE that this life does make sense to the source of life!

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.
When the last trumpet’s voice shall sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Robed in His righteousness alone, Faultless to stand before the throne. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand, All other ground is sinking sand.

Jesus Christ TRUE LIGHT of HOPE!

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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.