The Light of the World
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. Genesis 1:3-4
Our triune God transformed the universe by speaking light into existence on the first day of creation.* By dispelling the darkness, God created both a place for man to live and a means for him to live (days two and three). No light? No life. It’s as simple as that.
The apostle John drew the connection between the creation of light in the physical world and the spiritual world when he declared that Jesus is the source of both kinds of light: “Through him all things were made . . . in him was life, and that life was the light of men” (John 1:3-4). Paul also identified Jesus as the creator of all things, including light: “For by him all things were created.” He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17).
When Jesus told the temple crowd He was the light of the world in John 8:12, He too connected the source of physical light with spiritual light. He said, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Pharisees recognized the inference immediately and challenged him (v.13). They knew God alone was the source of light and life. Jesus ended the debate by affirming His deity: “Before Abraham was, I AM” (v. 58). Refusing to accept the truth, the enraged Pharisees picked up rocks to stone the “blasphemer.”
Believing that Jesus is the Creator and Sustainer of all things is fundamental to our faith. His authority over physical darkness symbolizes His authority over spiritual darkness. Each sunrise proclaims His dominion over physical darkness. On the cross He permanently separated the darkness of sin from the light of righteousness. Each time the Holy Spirit empowers us to choose rightly we affirm Jesus’ dominion over spiritual darkness.
We can avoid all kinds of spiritual darkness—ignorance, error, doubt, confusion—because Jesus is the source of all light. Walking in light transforms us, providing the means for us to live prosperous, productive lives. No light? No life. It’s as simple as that.
Live in the light.
Read Genesis 1. What other glimpses of Jesus can you see in the days of creation? What other parallels can you draw between the physical realm and the spiritual realm?
Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-6. What connection is Paul drawing between physical light and spiritual light? What prevents people from benefiting from spiritual light?
Read Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus also said that we, His followers, are the light of the world. How can the light we shed enable others to avoid spiritual darkness?
Denise K. Loock
*Note: The word used for God throughout Genesis 1 is Elohiym. In Hebrew, the final iym sound makes a noun plural. Therefore, the first sentence of the Bible indicates both the existence of a triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—and the Trinity’s cooperative effort in the creation. (Note also the presence of the Spirit in verse 2 and the plural pronouns in verse 26.)