December 26, 2016

The Light of the world

Light is intriguing. The Bible says God is light, without any darkness. This prompted a trip to the Hubble website with its mesmerizing photos of outer space and the light from trillions of stars. These pictures put me again in awe of God; if His creation is like that, then what is God like?

Do not most of us gaze at the stars and think of God? The Bible says that the heavens declare His glory. Does “God is light” mean God is like the light from those stars that He created? Does Jesus is the “Light of the world” have anything to do with that kind of light?

My Bible dictionary says that God is light because light has the extremely delicate, subtle, pure, brilliant quality of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it. Notice how that description is used here . . .

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5–10)

Light could be a literal description, but here it is used as a metaphor, a figure of speech that compares the way God is without any sin or darkness in Him. My dictionary also says that light is that which is exposed to the view of all, openly, publicly. It is the power of understanding, particularly moral and spiritual truth — and this describes what it means to walk in the light; it is keeping myself morally honest.

Yet it might be is easier to explain light by describing darkness. In darkness I cannot see where I am going, where I have been, or what is happening around me. I have no ability to properly evaluate anything because I am blind to whatever is true or false. God is the opposite; He shows the way, explaining the past and the events around me. He gives wisdom and helps me know what is true and what is not true. He also expects me to live accordingly, and be honest about it when I trip up or turn from His light and wind up in the dark.

Walking in pure light is impossible without being transformed. The person I was before Jesus Christ came into my life could not deal with its brightness. Even now I am overwhelmed by the immenseness of God and the vast scope of who He is. Those pictures of outer space are breath-taking, yet only a tiny hint!

This incredible God knew I would have trouble gazing at His glory, even if I could. His Word says that no one can see Him and live. However, He wants us to know Him, so He did the most incredible thing . . .

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high . . . (Hebrews 1:1–3)

God sent Jesus. He wore humanity that we might see God. We don’t need a telescope to do it, but we do need the power of the Holy Spirit who has the awesome task of helping us realize we are in the dark and giving us the desire for Light. Then He opens our eyes so we can see God in the face of His Son . . . 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

No comments: