And Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
God has always been about separating light from darkness. When Satan rebelled, God expelled him out of heaven and hurled him to earth. When God created the world, he physically separated the light from darkness. In John, Jesus revealed that because He was the Light, anyone who embraced Him as their Messiah would not walk in darkness. Separation, once again.
Before the foundation of the world, Jesus was Light. That didn’t change at His incarnation. Whether infant, boy child, or the adult Jesus in full time ministry, He was always the Light of the world. And I know what spiritual light does. It draws and warms the searching heart but it also exposes and convicts. I am naive to think that the full ramifications of living as God’s righteous Son only began in His adulthood. It wouldn’t be long after Jesus’ birth that His righteous gaze saw clear through people. Even the souls of His parents. I sometimes wonder if young Jesus was punished simply because the adults felt exposed by His light. Guilt and shame often initiate rash acts of revenge. Jesus’ holiness must have constantly grated against humanity.
Though scripture doesn’t fill in the blanks of Jesus’ childhood, there are things I can safely assume because of who Jesus is. His light would expose darkness; whether a child, adolescent, or adult. It would divide child’s play. It would challenge the rabbis in the temple. It would pierce the conversations at family gatherings. Even in holiest times of fellowship, the deception of sin colored others opinions and intentions. I am to live the life Jesus lived in choosing light and rejecting darkness. With Him dwelling in me, He enables me to sort one against another. This spiritually inductive process happens all day long and has the same combustible reactions in a group that Jesus experienced. From the moment I am set apart for sanctification, His light, in me, draws or offends.
- Today, I choose my friends wisely. I know that light and darkness will not live together in harmony. I am like the Jesus-child who cherished the friendship of other children who were also repelled by life in the shadows of sin.
- Today, I choose how I’m going to think. I take hold of a thought, then sort it as a ‘light thought’ or ‘dark thought’. Is this something Jesus would think or Satan would think? If it’s a dark thought, I cast it aside. I am to renounce and affirm the very things Jesus did. Even in His adolescence.
- Today, I choose suggestions from others with wisdom. Not every piece of advice is worthy of my discipleship to Jesus. Jesus didn’t embrace the leanings of His disciples indiscriminately. He bathed each decision in prayer. God’s imperatives trumped man’s logic.
Today, other disciples can lead me in paths of righteousness but not always. How well I sort out my life and separate light from darkness will depend on how well I know Jesus. I affirm my worship of the Light of the world, even as the cooing infant in Mary’s arms.
Light is clean, direct, and reveals everything in its path. Darkness is obscure, tormenting, and hides the path I am to take. Oh Lord Jesus, I choose Your way. Amen