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Christ Is the Light of the World


In the Transfiguration, Jesus revealed His glory to three of His closest followers. “His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” Moses and Elijah appeared and spoke with Him. The voice of God declared from a bright cloud, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matt. 17:1–9).

Peter, James, and John had the privilege of seeing the unveiled glory of Christ. He is indeed the “light of the world,” as He taught in today’s reading. As a result, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (v. 12). Just like the Israelites who followed the pillar of cloud and fire, believers who follow the Light are heading in the right direction!

This is one of the most famous “I am” statements in the Gospel of John. By using this formulation, Jesus identified Himself as God, the great “—I Am" and the one true Light. The metaphor of light thus means life, salvation, hope, and faithful love. By contrast, the metaphor of darkness indicates death, condemnation, despair, and self-centered pride. This realm includes sin, the world, and Satan; while God’s domain includes holiness, His kingdom, and Himself. Jesus also said, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46).

When the Pharisees challenged His claim, Jesus called His Father as His second witness (vv. 13–18). These socalled religious leaders illustrated the ignorance and blindness of those who walk in spiritual darkness (vv. 19–20). A clear choice was placed before the audience: Choose light and life in Christ, or choose to reject God and willfully remain in a state of darkness and death.

Apply the word

Do you sometimes wonder if your life is headed in the right direction? Does the world around you feel dark or confusing? Jesus doesn’t promise us an easy path, but He does promise us light, life, freedom, and purpose when we follow Him. Put your focus on Him, and His Word will direct your steps and His Spirit will give you strength to follow.

BY Brad Baurain

Dr. Brad Baurain has worked as a writer and editor for Today in the Word since 1993. Currently, he serves as associate professor and TESOL program head at Moody Bible Institute. Brad has the unique privilege of holding a degree from four different universities (including Moody). He has also taught in China, Vietnam, the United States, and Canada. Brad and his wife, Julia, have four children and reside in Munster, Indiana.

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