What’s your favorite book of the Bible? Is one of the Gospels? Or a letter by Paul like Ephesians or Colossians? Maybe you like First or Second Peter? Or the Psalms? But what about Deuteronomy, Leviticus or Numbers? I bet those books wouldn’t make it to your top ten list at all, would they?
Sometimes Christian believers neglect reading the Old Testament and opt for the New so they can focus primarily on the teachings of Christ. But when we skip out on what we might describe as the less interesting parts of scripture, we also unintentionally miss out on knowing Jesus better as well. In John 5:46, Christ said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me.” Well, Moses wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy… the Law. Jesus says quite plainly that part of scripture we often avoid also tells us about Him. And I have found that understanding the Law often sheds new light on familiar parts of the New Testament.
Here’s a little background that I think adds depth to Christ’s declaration to be “the Light of the World.” John 8:12
In Leviticus 23:39-44, God commanded the Israelites to observe The Feast of the Tabernacles. This annual week-long celebration probably looked something like a massive scout jamboree… a national camp-out, if you will. The people constructed and lived in temporary shelters so that they would be reminded how their ancestors had wandered in the wilderness before finally being delivered into the Promised Land. (vs 42-43)
Historical records tell us that the observance developed into a mighty celebration that reminded them of God’s protection, provision, and presence. On opening night of the festival, four gigantic candelabras were moved into the Temple courtyard and took center stage. With four branches extending upward, these golden posts would looked something like a modern-day menorah on steroids. Standing 75 feet tall, each arm supported a bowl capable of holding 10 gallons of oil. Loud singing, dancing and playing of musical instruments preceded the lighting of the massive beacons. Ancient accounts describe the streets of Jerusalem as completely illuminated and visible from miles away. This magnificent gala reminded the Israelites of the time when the glory of God had first entered the temple. (1 Kings 8)
It was against this backdrop that Jesus declared Himself to be the Light of the World, publicly and scandalously claiming to be the Messiah of Israel. Possibly back lit by this enormous display, His words would have been impossible to ignore. He equated Himself with the Lord of Israel and proclaimed His presence meant the glory of God had returned to the temple!
Christ is still that same beacon of glory today. He promises that anyone “who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (John 8:12b) While the world in which we live can seem exceptionally dark, and punctuated by the harassing taunts of neglect, abuse, disease and death, Jesus still promises that those things will never suffocate His children. If we come to Him in salvation, He will drive away sin, fear, brokenness and hopelessness just as the light drives away darkness. In their place, He illumines our hearts with His Spirit so that He can fulfill, sustain and complete us.
11 thoughts on “Meet Your Maker – Light of the World”
Yes! When we learn who Jesus is and why He came we walk in the light of truth. His truth over every area of our being. He has brought us a full and true salvation and I love how your words reveal His beauty and truth and desire for us to live in the fullness He longs for us to walk in!
thanks Jeannie! I’m enjoying this study and learning more about how Christ described Himself! thanks for commenting!
Here i am and testify, confirm that He did removed away sin, hopelessness, brokeness and brought just healing and light. Thank u Lord and thank u Karen, wonderful post.
Love your testimony of grace! I know every believer can gratefully say “Amen! Me too!” Thanks, Dimitra!
Hi Karen, I love reading in the Old Testament. In fact, I am in I Chronicles right now for my daily devotions. Love it! The Light of the World is a great reminder to us being a light too. A light for Jesus to a dark world. Blessings, Amy
I spent 5 months in Chronicles earlier this year. Fantastic sojourn! Loved it! Thanks for stopping by!
Yes how we do need to read the old testament. As you rightfully said, we find shadows and types in the old testament. God bless
I love discovering new things about Jesus in the OT The more you dig, the more you find! Thanks for commenting!
Great reminders Karen from the Old Testament, which I love to not only read and study, but lately, been writing and teaching in my Blogs from the Minor Prophets. The Old Testament clearly demonstrate God’s personality and character; God is LOVE, but He also is righteous: ‘I forgive you, but being a righteous God, some punishment is in order. But remember, I LOVE YOU!” Just like when we were kids and our parents certainly LOVED us, but at times, punishment was in order.
Jesus is the Light of the World! He also tells us in Matthew, “You are the light of the world, A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light so shine before men…” (Matt. 5:14, 16). Just reflecting the Light of the world through our own testimony. Great post Kar!
That was interesting! Your writing always makes me think of things in ways that have never occurred to me .
Thanks Suzanne! I’ve enjoyed learning lots of new things during this study of John’s Gospel too!