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 ESV)
When Jesus was just eight days old and newly circumcised, his parents took him to the temple to offer a sacrifice according to the law. Upon entering the temple they meet a man named Simeon, a righteous man who was led to the temple by the Spirit. With the Spirit resting on him he took Jesus in his arms and said, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.” (Luke 2:21-32 ESV)
After the arrest of John the Baptist, Jesus left Nazareth and lived in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali so that what was prophesied by Isaiah would be fulfilled: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4:12-16 ESV)
John began his gospel by saying that Jesus has life in himself and that life was the light of men. The light was so bright that the world’s darkness could not snuff it out. He was in fact the true light coming into the world that enlightens everyone. (John 1:4-5) John also knew that Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14) and that God is light and in him is not darkness at all (1 John 1:5).
The Greek word used for light as pertaining to Jesus means to shine or make manifest. Jesus was the light pointed directly on the Father. Paul wrote, “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV) In Jesus we see everything that is God. He made manifest the attributes of God and shone on everything that is holy and just. That is why many hated him. Their darkness was exposed by the light shining on the holiness of God.
Speaking of judgment Jesus said, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (John 3:19-21 ESV)
Jesus also gave the remedy for darkness. He said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5 ESV) “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” (John 12:46 ESV) To believe in Jesus is to believe in God and to look upon Jesus is to look upon God (John 12:44-45). John said that Jesus is the true light (John 1:9), so the only way to see the true God is to believe in the true light; Jesus. There is no other way to worship the true God except through Jesus.
Peter wrote that God has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). We who have believed in the name of Jesus will live forever in that marvelous light. John wrote of our eternal dwelling place; “And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” (Revelation 21:23-25 ESV)
That’s why we praise him!