JESUS: THE LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS
Jesus was the light of men
Jerry A Collins
How does Jesus as the light of God shine in the darkness of sin?
In what way is Jesus the light of men?
Why is Jesus described as the true light?
All of us experience situations where we just do not comprehend all we need to in order to have an understanding we need for that particular situation. So we arrange time with a tudor or a counselor or a teacher or a colleague or an advisor or an expert. Our hope is to receive the insight we need thru these venture to ascertain the understanding we need to comprehend our situation. Well, God knew that we needed to comprehend and ascertain understanding about our relationship with Him. Sending His Son provided the life and light essential to receive that understanding and remove the ignorance and darkness we had about this. So Christmas is about this light of revelation and understanding God gave to men. Jesus was this light but how was He this light to men? What was the revelation and understanding He brot to us?
1. JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF TRUTH 1:4
What is this life? It is Zoe kind of life. God alone is the source of this life. God created life. Like science, you can analyze the elements that make up a living substance—you can put them all together—you can have the chemistry there but something is missing. It will not grow, it cannot develop, it is not alive. Because this declares that God alone is the source of life. Jesus stands at the beginning and end of every human life. This is inescapable. More than that, when this life comes there comes with it lite. This life was the lite of men. The knowledge, the understanding, the truth appeared, illuminating the way in this dark world. Revealing the righteousness of God and exposing the ignorance and sinfulness of man. We can go to school and learn because we have human life but Jesus provides a higher kind of life—an eternal life—a supernatural life—a spiritual life—a life that will not die! So eternal life only comes from Jesus. When you have this life you also have with it the possibility of light. With this life we can understand the world, the universe and all that is happening. When we come to the scriptures, as the commands of Christ, words coming from his very lips, we begin to put the pieces together. We develop the discernment we need for the challenges of life. So John introduces us to the One He is going to talk about—God Himself who has somehow become man. The Creator becoming part of His creation. Giving us the life and revelation necessary to understand what is going on and why. Everything he said was revelation from God. It is only in Jesus and nowhere/one else!
2. THOSE IN DARKNESS ARE UNABLE TO GRASP THE TRUTH 5
This revelation from God, Jesus, the Word, came into the darkness—people without revelation. Lost men were not able to grasp the truth in Him. They did not receive it. Jesus ministry had many examples of discussions with people who did not grasp it. Today, the world of human beings are in darkness. The world is proud of it’s achievements. Impressed with it’s technology. Amazed at it’s progress and we think of people in darkness and we think of the ignorance of savages who live in jungles not civilized people like ourselves. Our libraries and universities are monuments to our prowess as humans. How could we ever be viewed as people living in darkness? But with all of these impressive achievements we still struggle for solutions to generational issues like crime, war, poverty, inequity, injustice, discrimination, immorality. Like men in a dark room, we bump into things, groping around for direction feeling things to see if we can understand where to go. But all the while the lite shines in the darkness. Jesus came first as that lite—he left his disciples and then his church to reflect that light in His absence. The darkness of ignorance in sin does not put out the light, it just cannot grasp this lite. It cannot get ahold of this light, possess it or apprehend it. Darkness and light cannot coexist together. The moment one is introduced the other flees. How can darkness then take hold of light? A witness to the light, someone who can enable the darkness to see it is needed.
3. OUR RESPONSIBILITY IS TO BE A WITNESS OF THIS LITE 6-8
Now the subject is changed. John the Baptist was sent from God. The Word, Jesus, was not the only one who was sent from God, so was John vs 6. But John’s job was to be a witness of the light, Jesus the revelation of God. And what was the purpose? That all might believe through him vs 7. This is our job too. John was not the light but came to give testimony of the revelation. In Matt -16, Jesus tells the disciples they are the light of the world. We need to understand that in the sense that John talks about John the Baptist. It means that the Light is in us and shining thru us, not that we are a source of light. According to Jesus, there was no one greater than John the Baptist, yet he was not the Light. Neither are you or I. Servants of God are not the sources of Light. They only point to the Light. This is where most religions err. Most religions see themselves as a source of light (Jim Jones film).
4. JESUS IS THE ONLY REVELATION AVAILABLE VS 9
There is no other light. There can be no other. The revelation of God He brings is enlightenment, understanding and comprehension available to every man. Jesus is the ‘true light’, the final consummation of that light foreshadowed in the Old Testament (2 Sam 23:4; Psa ; 27:1; Isa 9:2). Jesus appearance as this one and only light established a number of things that revealed the truth to us:
(1) A standard of righteousness which exposes sins of darkness.
(2) A need for salvation to deliver us from the consequences of our sinfulness.
(3) That Jesus is the only way to heaven.
(4) That belief in Him as the Savior is essential for salvation.
(5) That His commands and teachings must be obeyed.
(6) That religion and religious practices will not deliver you.
This knowledge is necessary for anyone to understand and ascertain the insight for the life we must live.
(1) A basic part of our early discipleship of someone, or even a discussion about salvation with an unbeliever, should include significant information about who Jesus was—that He is eternal, deity, the Creator, that He was with God the Father from eternity past and He came into the world to bring the revelation of God to it vs 1-5. Discipleship usually done today by discipling your converts but Jesus discipled other peoples people. Jesus never led the disciples to Himself to believe.
(2) We are the light of the world, not as a source of the light but as a lens or a reflection of the light. The light shines thru us like it did John the Baptist vs 6-8.
(3) Salvation comes only through faith defines as receiving Christ, God’s Son vs 6-8. There is no other way.
(4) Our ministry, like John’s, is to prepare the way for God to come into people’s lives. We do that as we pray for them, give the gospel, call to repent, avoid legalism, and teach them Christ’s commands.