The Light of the World — Part 1

Sermon delivered on April 3rd, 2016

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: John 1:1-12



John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


When I think of light, I cannot help it but think of the sun. I have always been fascinated with the sun. But it is only recently that I came to realize how great and how important the Sun is. 


Consider some facts revealing the greatness and importance of the sun.

The sun's diameter is about 864,938 miles. That's 109 times bigger than the earth's diameter. You could fit 1.3 million Earths inside the Sun. 


The sun is 93 million miles from the earth. Now, that's good news since the Sun's core temperature can reach 27 million degrees Fahrenheit. (and we complain when it is 90F).


If you decide to leave earth (because you are tired of politicians) and fly to the sun and travel 150 miles per hour, it would take you 70 years before you reach the sun.


Consider not only the sun's greatness but also its importance. The sun is vital in this life. Without the sun we wouldn't be here.


The sun's gravity controls the planets' rotation and revolution. The sun helps maintain order in the earth's climate and controls windsrainfalltemperaturehumidity, etc.


The sun gives light to the world, morning and evening. Yes, even in the evening, for the moon only reflects the light of the sun. Without the sun, no life can exist on the planet earth. Human beings, animals, plants and trees would not survive. There wouldn't be food to eat, since plants and trees depend on the sun to synthesize food. 


But as great as the sun is and as important as the sun is, the sun is not the "Light of the World." The sun lights the world but it is not the "Light of the world." Jesus, the Son of God is the "Light of the World".

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


I - What Christ Implies

These words imply that the world is in darkness. Obviously Jesus is not talking about physical darkness. He is talking about spiritual darkness. But we must understand that the world was not created dark. God created a perfect world without sin and evil. But then because of Adam's disobedience, sin entered into the world and plunge the whole world into spiritual darkness. We all came into a dark world with darkened hearts and minds


In the Scripture, the expression "darkness" is sometimes used to represent spiritual blindness and moral darkness. "Darkness" denotes the inability to comprehend and receive spiritual truths resulting to bondage and misery and judgment. As man who is physically blind cannot see God's physical creation so is the man who is spiritually blind, he cannot see spiritual realities. He cannot understand, appreciate, and receive spiritual truths. This blindness is universal meaning the whole human race, young and old, male and female, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. No one is exempt.


What are we blind to?

A blind man cannot see. What can he not see? There are basically two things that a blind man cannot see - things that are ugly and things that are beautiful. As a physically blind man cannot see physical things so is a spiritually blind person cannot see spiritual things. What are we, by nature and left to ourselves, blind to? What are the spiritual truths that by nature and left to ourselves we are not able to see and comprehend?


1. We are blind to the ugliness of sin

Sin is ugly. Sin deceives. Sin defiles. Sin corrupts. Sin hurts. Sin traps. Sin separates. Sin destroys. Sin kills. Sin if not remedied in this life will eventually land us to everlasting punishment called Hell.


In the book of Isaiah, the Prophet Isaiah, describes the wicked sin and rebellion of Israel, and uses the following words ...

Isaiah 1:6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 

Isaiah describes the sin and rebellion of Israel as an uncleaned, untreated, unwrapped wound. Sin is like an infected raw and open wound, a rotting flesh.


Sin is so hideous and so repulsive that God chose, the most horrible of all diseases - leprosy, to picture it. Leprosy is a graphic physical picture of the spiritual defilement of sin. Sin is a deformity. Sin is unclean. Sin is awful. There is really nothing beautiful about sin and yet, by nature we are all attracted to it.


We all came into the world loving darkness and hating the light. I know that is a strong assertion, but it is true. That is what the Bible teaches and the Bible never lies.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20: For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

We are not neutral. We embrace darkness and resist spiritual light. We are very alive in all the wrong ways.


John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7: The same came or a witness, to bear witness o the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness o that Light. 9: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. 10: He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11: He came unto his own, and his own received him not.


2. We are blind to the beauty of God


a. We do not see how glorious God is

We came into the world blind and ignorant to who God is and His glory. I believe this is why we go running after sin. When we sin we are saying that God is not enough, that there is much more satisfying than God and obedience to God. When we engaged sin we are manifesting our blindness to the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


b. We do not see how precious Christ is

Blind to the beauty and preciousness of Christ and so we reject His Person and His Gospel.

2 Corinthians 4:3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7: But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.


1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 

The problem is not the Gospel is hard to understand, the problem is that his heart hates them so much that he considers the gospel foolishness. 


1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.


1 Corinthians 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24: But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.


Our blindness is blameworthy. It is a deliberate blindness. Peter prophesied that it would even get worse in the last days. There will be in the last days a deliberate ignorance of God.  People could know much more about God but they choose not to. It is a deliberate ignorance and therefore blameworthy.


We came into this world blind to the beauty, glory and preciousness of Christ. As the blind eye cannot see light, so the blind spirit cannot see the light, the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.


This is the world into which Jesus came

A world darkened and blinded by sin and ignorance and bondage and misery and death and judgment. The perfect world that God made, and the human race created in His image to bear His image, fell into darkness and blindness. The world cannot escape the chains of this dark bondage and blindness, apart from the mercy of God. But by the mercy of God, He sent His Son to deliver us.


Zechariah, John the Baptist's' father, spoke in these terms when he prophesied the coming of Jesus: 

Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, (sunrise shall visit us from on high) 79: To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.


This leads me to my second point. 

II - What Christ Declares

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Without a doubt Jesus Christ here declares that He is the Son of God and the Messiah spoken of by the prophets. No one has ever made such claim, no, not even His prophets or apostles. Only the Son of God could make such a bold claim.


Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.


Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.


Jesus Christ came to be the light of men. He came to shine forth His light in the midst of a spiritually and morally dark world.


He alone is the true light

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5: And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 6: There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7: The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8: He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9: That was the true Lightwhich lighteth every man that cometh into the world


True Light as oppose to false lights. There are lights that give no light. What they are, are just for ornaments or for cosmetics. There are also many in the world that are giving false lights. These lights have voices and they are saying take my light or follow my light and it will lead you to blessedness. 


We read in ...

2 Corinthians 11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Satan, the enemy of mankind, disguises as an angel of light, pretending to be our friend when all he wants is our destruction.


Even today, there many false lights promising to deliver us from our bondage and misery. But we know there is only one true light and that is Jesus Christ.

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.


He is the True Light that enlightens men's hearts and minds.


Light exposes things

What does light do? There are many things that light does, one of the things that light does is that it exposes things. It basically expose two things, namely ugly things and beautiful things.


1. Light exposes the ugliness of sin

While the light of Christ shines forth in our lives, we see the ugliness of sin. There many ways God exposes the ugliness of sin.


Through the law

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20: Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


Through the Cross

We see the ugliness of sin at the cross and what it did to our Saviour. 

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?


2. Light exposes the beauty of God

Once Christ shines His light on our dark heart, we see not only the ugliness of our sin but we see the beauty and glory of God.


Jesus Christ came to reveal the Father to us.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7: If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. 8: Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9: Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10: Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 11: Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.


To a world that is ignorant of God, Jesus reveals the truth of heaven. To a world suffering the misery of evil, Jesus offers a cleansing renewal and peace. To those condemned in judgment for their sins, Jesus shed His own blood for forgiveness. Into a spiritually dark and dying world He shines the light of eternal life.


In the darkness of ignorance, Christ is the light of wisdom. In the darkness of sin and evil, Christ is the light of holiness and righteousness. In the darkness of lies and error, Christ is the light of truth. In the darkness of sorrow and despair, Christ is the light of joy and hope. In the darkness of death, Christ is the light of life. 


III - What Christ Promises

Our Lord offered two wonderful promises as He declares Himself to be the "Light of the World."


1. A Promise of Deliverance from Darkness

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

A promise of deliverance from moral darkness into His marvelous light. He shall not walk in darkness of ignorance but have light shining around him, guiding him in his journey through life, and shall reflect light by his conduct, ways, and life. 


2. A Promise of Possessing Light of Life

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

He shall possess the light that gives life. He shall have spiritual light that will burn on forever and will not be quenched. 


To whom is this promise given?

He is the "Light of the World". He is not for a few only, but for all mankind. Like the sun He shines for the benefit of all, though all may not value or use His light. Not everyone benefits from the light that Christ shines into the world. Our Lord is clear those who shall not walk in darkness and have the light of life are those who follow Him. What is the use of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, if we do not follow Him. It is not enough to gaze upon and admire the light. We must follow. 


But people prefer to live in darkness, to live in caves of superstition and sin. And if people decide to dwell in caves and underground or put bandage on their eyes or close their eyes, their darkness and blindness would be their own fault, not the fault of the sun. So likewise, if millions love spiritual darkness rather than light, the blame must be laid on their blind hearts and not on Jesus Christ.


What is it to follow?

In this verse, the expression "followeth" does not mean "copy" or "imitate", but "trust", "to put faith in another".


Compare John 8:12 with John 12:46:

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

So, to follow Him is to believe in Him, to believe in Him is to follow Him. Those who believe will follow. Belief or faith is the root, to follow is the fruit. Those who follow have faith. The faithful will follow.

John 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.


If you came this morning and entered the door of this MPR in spiritual darkness and confusion but the Lord shines His light on you, please do not resist His light. He came to shine His light upon you to deliver you from religion, idolatry, superstition, traditions, ceremonialism and ritualism. He came to shine His light upon you to deliver you from bondage to sin and its effects. 


Would you come and follow the light? Would you come and let Him lead you? To follow a leader if we are blind, or in the dark, or lost our way, requires trust and confidence. This is what the Lord Jesus Christ requires of sinners who feel their sins and want to be saved.


He who gave sight to the blind desires to give you spiritual sight in this darkened world. Jesus wants to light your way and lead you into life eternal. AMEN!