Luke 2:30-32
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
     which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and the glory of your people Israel.”

John 8:12
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 9:1-7
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.

In today’s highly electrified western world, we probably do not appreciate the value and power of light.  In the ancient world, light was precious.  When the psalmist wrote “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105), his readers understood how valuable God’s Word was.  Jesus, the Living Word, is the light of the world.

Notice how Jesus’ miracles point to and validate his claims.  He miraculously feeds five thousand people, and then says he is the bread of life.  He says he is the light of the world, and then miraculously opens the eyes of a blind man.  His miracles are not parlor tricks; they are signs pointing to who he is.  John wrote that Jesus was the light of men, the true light that gives light to every man (John 1:5, 1:9).  And now Jesus twice tells the Jews he is the light of the world, and the one who follows him will never walk in darkness.

As we began Advent this year, the Jews began their celebration of Hanukkah.  Hanukkah originally celebrated the purification and rededication of the temple by the Maccabees in 165 AD, after Antiochus Epiphanes had defiled it.  It was also called the Feast of Dedication (see John 10:22), or the festival of light.  Months before the Jews began their Hanukkah celebration, Jesus said he was the bringer of light, not just to the Jews but to the entire world.  Jesus was—and is—far greater than Judas Maccabeus.  

How is your vision?  I am asking about your spiritual sight, not your physical sight.  At the end of John 9 Jesus talked about sight and blindness, about how those who claim they see are blind, and those who admit they are blind will see.  Have you admitted your blindness, and trusted in Jesus?  Can you say with the blind man, once I was blind, but now I see?  May you walk in the light until that day when there will be no more night, when the Lord himself will give us light (Rev. 22:5)!

The whole world was lost in the darkness of sin;
the light of the world is Jesus;

like sunshine at noonday, his glory shone in;
the light of the world is Jesus.Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
sweetly the light has dawned upon me;
once I was blind, but now I can see:
the light of the world is Jesus.

(Philip P. Bliss)

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