3,500 years ago, God called His people (the Israelites) out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and into the land that He had promised them. This is the story of the Exodus, and is recorded for us in the second book of the Bible. As the Israelites left Egypt God led them at night represented by a fire the people could see. Like a child is comforted by their night light, so the children of Israel were comforted in their journey by the fire in the sky, reminding them that God was with them.
Fast forward 1,500 years to the time of Jesus. While the rest of the Israelites were celebrating the Festival of the Tabernacle (remembering when God led them like a fire at night), Jesus makes an amazing assertion. He says in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” In this statement, Jesus was making a few VERY important points:
- Jesus is the light. In the time of the Exodus, the people saw a fire cloud in the sky. That was nice. But, Jesus is even better! The fire in the sky was a presence, but it was a presence that did not talk or provide a 3-D example of what God was like. Jesus is our reminder that God is with us, a Living Light!
- Jesus is the Light of the World! In the time of the Exodus, the fire was only for the people of Israel. However, by saying that Jesus was the light of the world, Jesus was pointing out that ALL people, regardless of nationality can be encouraged by His presence.
- Jesus invites us to Follow Him. His Light is not just meant to comfort, it is meant to direct.
- If we follow Him we will not walk in darkness. Jesus will never lead us to sin. He only leads us towards righteousness. He is out for our growth, not our destruction.
- If we follow Him, we will have life. Darkness leads to death. Don’t believe me? Put your favorite flower in the dark closet for a week and see if it survives. Jesus is the Light of Life . . . He came to give us life, not take it from us!
This same designation of Jesus as the “light of men” is found in John 1:3-5 as a part of the Christmas story that John shares. At Christmas time, we often have lights as a part of our decorations: on trees, on our homes, etc. This is so appropriate, because Jesus is the Light of the world! As we sing look at Christmas lights, be reminded of God’s presence with us, and His desire that we walk in obedience following Jesus’ commands and example. If we do, we will have life as God intended! Rejoice! Jesus lights the way!
This devo is a part of the 2022 Wildwood Christmas Daily Devotional, “God with us.” You can find the entire Christmas Devotional here.