Jesus Is The Light Of Men

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — John 8:12

So if you have been following along with me for a while, you may remember that back in John 4:25-26, I mentioned there were 7-8 times in the Gospel of John where Jesus uses the phrase "I am" as he does right here (read that devotional here). He does this because "who he is" is the hot debate. People need clarification. So to bring clarity to their confusion, he is going to disclose some details. But most will miss these little nuggets because some divine events have not yet occurred — like the resurrection.

So what Jesus does here is use the divine name of God, "I am" (or "I Exist"), to describe himself, and then follows it with a noun that gives it more description. This is called a predicate nominative. We read the first of these "I am" statements with a predicate nominative in John 6:35-36 (read that devotional here). Jesus declared, "I am... the bread of life." The point he made is that "He is the ongoing sustenance that provides mankind with life."

Here we read the second, "I am... the light of the world."

So what is Jesus clarifying about himself in this instance?

Well, the word "light" is being used as a metaphor. It's a metaphor used to describe the illumination of the mind. We call this "understanding." This means Jesus is clarifying that he is the clarity (the understanding) the world needs. And what is so ironic about the situation is that they are desperately confused about him.

But if we chase this metaphor through the Bible, we will see something incredible.

For example in Matthew 5:14-15, Jesus says:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. — Matthew 4:14-15

He declares here that as he illuminates our minds, we need to share this understanding with others. We shouldn't hide or conceal it.

Then in the next verse, Jesus states:

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. — Matthew 4:14-16

And here, Jesus takes the metaphor a step further. He clarifies that his illumination has visible works that go with them. This is the illumination of our lives. We call this holiness or righteousness. This is living an illuminated life so people can see God through us.

But then, where do we get this illumination for our lives? Well, Psalms 119:105 is crystal clear about this. The Psalmist declares:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105

We get illumination from God's Word. But remember, in John 1, we already discovered from John that Jesus is the Word. It reads:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. — John 1:1-5

Crazy stuff, right? I hope you see what Jesus is saying.

He is saying, I am all the understanding you will ever need.

But there is one more added detail here that is illuminating. The Feast of Booths just came to an end. And during this Feast, the priests lit giant candles that burned for eight days on the Temple grounds. They burned so bright that they lit up the night sky for miles. This feast has just come to an end. They have extinguished the last candle, and now Jesus says this. Why? Because a new one was lit. The life of Jesus would light the sky till time comes to an end.

If you are looking for understanding today, remember this today:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. — Proverbs 3:5-6

ASK THIS: Are you trusting in your understanding, or are you trusting in his?

DO THIS: Trust not in your understanding.

PRAY THIS: God, give me understanding. Please tell me what to do.

PLAY THIS: Trust In You.

short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

7 thoughts on “Jesus Is The Light Of Men

  1. gonzalo says:

    Thanks Jesus for giving us You to light our path, our lifes, our minds, our hearts and take the darkness far from all of us!

    Thanks brother Vince for your consistent dedication to the Lord and bringing the Word to us as you do! God bless you and give you more understanding, discernment, and knowledge to pass on to us.


  2. Dennis says:

    To take this one step further, if we truly have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and we live out out our salvation, the we are the light as God’s Word says because Jesus now dwells in us and His light is within us. Galatians 2:20 , 1 Corinthians 3:16, Romans 8:11 just to list a few.

  3. Daniel says:

    I love how comforts when I am struggling. Had bad dream last nite about world events. Then good has you use Proverbs 3;5-6 to give me peace for the day! God is soo amazing how he shows His love for us.

  4. David Josker says:

    God, I am trusting in you now and forever, give me understanding. Please tell me what to do.

Comments are closed.