That little candle throws his beams

I am the light of the world – part 1

40 blogs of Lent, day 9

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” William Shakespeare, The merchant of Venice.

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
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5

CandleJohn does not usually say when Jesus said or did things, his Gospel is not a biography. The statement in Chapter 8 v 12 is an exception. He goes out of his way to mention that it was at the Feast of the Tabernacles. At this feast two things happened:

  1. Pouring out of water on the west side of the alter by the priests.
  2. The lighting of several large candles in the temple courtyards.

Light was significant to the Jews. It reminded them of the glory of God shining from the cloud which led them from Egypt to the promised land and protected them from their enemies. Their liturgical songs said things like The Lord is my light and my salvation. (Psalm 27:1) Light was God in action.

In saying, “I am the light of the world,” Jesus was in effect saying, “I am the glory of God.” But not just for the Jews, he is the Light, the glory of God, for the world. The message is universal, no one is missing from Jesus’ invitation to be a light in them so that they do not stumble. Are you going to respond?

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