day 18: Christ, the Light of the World

Readings: Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 4:12-17, John 3:16-21, John 8:12, John 9, Revelation 21:22-27


In an early prophecy of the Messiah, Isaiah writes,

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
Isaiah 9:2

From our Sunday school days singing "this little light of mine," we have had a picture in our minds of Christ as a source of light - and He is, indeed, the self-titled Light of the World.

However, the words used in both the Hebrew and the Greek texts to denote "light" emphasize not just the fact of the light itself - not just its presence - but more importantly, what it is that the Light reveals: He is the illumination which casts a division between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lie, light and darkness. He distinguishes between the works of God and the works of Satan. He is both "the light of life" and "the judgment" - simultaneously Healer and Divider. His brilliance heals the vision of the spiritually helpless so they can look upon Him and be saved, even as it utterly blinds the spiritually self-reliant.

And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind."
John 9:39

And take heed: This title of Jesus is unique in that we, His saints who have been given new sight through Christ, are uniquely called to participate in its reality. Paul says in Ephesians 5:8, "For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light." Until Christ returns to be the everlasting Lamp of the New Earth, we take part in this duty to heal and divide, and to expose the darkness with the truth.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.