In this physical world, we all understand the difference between light and darkness. Though occasionally one desires darkness (for example, when they are trying to sleep or when they seek relief from the heat of the sun), we are prone to take steps to change darkness into light. Many have stumbled through the darkness, unable to see the obstacles in their path, only to bang their shin, stump their toe or trip over unseen things, only to wish they had changed the darkness into light in some manner.
In the spiritual realm, there is darkness and light as well. These two stand in opposition to one another. Paul rhetorically asked, “…what communion hath light with darkness?” (II Cor. 6:14). Paul instructed the Ephesians to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11). In fact, Christians have been called out of darkness. Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (I Pet. 2:9). Not only are we called out of the darkness, but we are exhorted to walk in the light. John said, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” (I John 1:7). Yet, multitudes are stumbling through spiritual darkness, having no idea how they might have light to show them the way to walk in safety. Where might the answer be found?
When infant Jesus was brought to the temple to be presented to the Lord, an elderly man named Simeon saw Him, took him up in his arms and blessed God (Luke 2:22-28). In so doing, he quoted from the prophet Isaiah concerning “A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel” (Isa. 49:6; Luke 22:32). Before Jesus began His ministry on earth, John the Baptist came preparing the way for the Lord. “The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light” (John 1:7-8). Jesus made it quite clear in His preaching that He was and is the light of the world. He said, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). Later, He said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). There is no doubt that Jesus is the light.
But, if Jesus is the light of the world, how does one “walk in the light”? The answer to this is clearly shown when Jesus said, “…he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness” (John 8:12). To walk in the light is to walk according to the word of the Lord. The psalmist said long ago, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). The apostle John writes of the coming of Christ as, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). When Jesus was transfigured on the mount and Moses and Elias appeared with Him, God spoke from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him” (Matt. 17:5). When judgment day arrives, it will be the word of God in general and the gospel of Christ specifically by which we are judged. Jesus said, “…the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Paul told the Corinthians that, “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). And, to the Romans he wrote, “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel” (Rom. 2:16). Yet, many still stumble about in the darkness. Why would that be?
John wrote, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5). What Jesus brought is not what the Jews of His day traditionally believed would be the case. They rejected Jesus as the Messiah because He did not fit their idea of what He should be. Many today do the same thing when they reject the clear teachings of the gospel because it is not what they have always believed and practiced. In addition to this reason, Jesus pointed to another reason that many reject the light. He said, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (John 3:19-20). Many today are of the same mind. They reject the light because it would require giving up some of that which is error, which things they love and refuse to let go.
The truth is, one who refuses to see the light, to follow the light and walk in the light, is still in darkness (John 8:12) and shall suffer the consequences. Dear reader, let nothing stop you from finding and walking in the light that you might have eternal life.
(Editor’s note: Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)