Being the Light
“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” John 9:5.
We are surrounded by desperation. All around us are spiritually blind people who are trying to navigate the minefield of sin that is life without Jesus Christ. Which is worse, physical blindness or spiritual blindness? One is temporary but the other is eternal. One affects the flesh while the other destroys the soul. When Jesus met the blind man in John 9 He saw the totality of the man’s desperation; and it was both physical and spiritual.
It is easy to focus on the miracle Jesus performed in the outer man—restoring his physical sight. We love miracles we can see. And it was a miraculous and God-glorifying moment when that poor blind man saw for the very first time. But Jesus made a peculiar statement right before He opened the man’s eyes. In John 9:5 He said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” What did He mean by that? The significance of this statement is two-fold.
First, He is showing His disciples that He is concerned primarily with the man’s spiritual darkness. He had already told them the man was born blind “so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Jesus is the True Light that this man needed. Even more than to see physically, he needed Jesus’ light to shine into the darkness of his heart. This is what we all need, whether we can physically see or not.
Second, Jesus is telling His disciples that one day He will no longer be physically in the world. “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Why did He say “while”? He is foreshadowing the Great Commission. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus had told them, “You are the light of the world.” While He was with them physically, He was the light. But a day was coming when He would go back to His throne in heaven. Would His light disappear? No. The Holy Spirit would bring His light to live in His disciples, making them the light of the world... making every follower of Christ the light of the world.
There are blind men and women all around us... people who may look fine on the outside, but whose hearts are as blind as that man’s eyes that Jesus opened all those years ago. While we are in this world, we, too, are the light of the world because of Jesus. How brightly are you shining?
Dear God, It is humbling to think that You have put Your light inside of me. Please help me not to waste the time You have given me on this earth to shine into the darkness of sin. Open my eyes today to the opportunities that are all around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.