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.”
Jesus came into a world filled with darkness. The people living in the land of Palestine were without hope and they must have thought that God had forgotten or abandoned them. About 700 years before this, the prophet Isaiah had prophesied a Messiah for God’s chosen people. Isaiah 9:2: The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Matthew, the Gospel writer and disciple of Jesus, repeated these words from the Old Testament prophet in Matthew 4:16: “the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” The “light of the world” was coming into a world that would not know him or recognize him.
Darkness filled the land of Palestine at the time of Jesus’ birth and that same darkness is desperately trying to influence and gain complete control over our world today. The angel Gabriel spoke some very important words to the young girl Mary and those were words that the people of Palestine needed to hear as well as all of us living today: “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). God was about to turn the world upside down. He did it over 2,000 years ago and He can do it again today in 2015.
Today, we live in a world where many believers recognize the “light of the world” but unfortunately there are many who fail to see this light. The world that we live in demands inclusiveness and it constantly tells us to accept diversity and those with different beliefs. Christians are admonished to be careful about wishing anyone a Merry Christmas, lest we offend someone with a different belief system. Many good people believe there are numerous paths to God and they don’t want to offend anyone by declaring that Christ is the only way to eternal life. It’s time for followers of Christ to stand up for our beliefs and for what the Christmas season signifies. It is also vitally important that we do it in a way that leads others to Christ and glorifies God.
If you are a follower of Christ, you are commanded to walk in the “light” and to point others to the light of eternal life; Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Walk in the light of Christ this Christmas season and allow yourself to be used to help those living in darkness to see the true light of the world and the only way to eternal life.