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 8:12
Most of us can clearly understand the difference between light and dark and often describe their characteristics by how they make us feel when we experience each. Light and dark are remarkably different from each other. Light causes us to feel warm, close, enlightened, and safe. Darkness causes us to feel cold, distant, confused, and scared. You can even ask a small child to explain the differences and they will quickly respond with surprisingly contrasting ideas.
In the New Testament the word light is used as a descriptive term to explain the concept of understanding and the word darkness to explain the concept of confusion. So when Jesus spoke these words he is actually saying “I am the [understanding] of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in [confusion], but will have the [understanding] of life.” Wow, what a difference a few words can make.
So what does this all mean? Well, that believing in Christ is to live a life in contrast. A life that is lived radically different from how we used to live. It is a life of contrast from the world, our past, and others who do not believe. And when we believe in Jesus we are choosing to not in live in the dark, or even the grey, but in the light of understanding – we live in belief and the object is Jesus Christ.
Many of us standing here right now can remember the moment we first believed. We may have a hard time capturing that moment with words, but it was a profound experience and one of radical contrast. We might even say it was a moment where we saw our life in contrast from who we were to what Jesus wanted us to be. And all this begins with believing in Jesus the only one with the understanding of life.