Why is Jesus Christ called the Light of the World?
Jesus went to the temple during the feast of the Tabernacles. The temple was lit by four very large candelabra and their light could be seen for a great distance. Here, He rescued the woman about to be stoned for adultery and then proclaimed to those who watched the event, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12 NKJV).
Darkness, in a spiritual sense, frequently refers to sin or to confusion about truth. This darkness can hide evil or distort what is real. It can distort the truth and make it difficult to see or understand truth. However, God created both day and night, and He does not expect us to live our lives in darkness. He wants us to live out our lives in the light, and that light comes from the Savior.
Jesus Christ came to earth to fulfill prophecy; He promised to come and redeem us from our sins. He taught the gospel, helping those who “ha(d) ears to hear” (Mark 4:23 NKJV) see beyond the Law of Moses to the new higher laws of love.
He taught His disciples to follow His example and to live a law that would bring them closer to God. Those who did no more than to watch Him would be enlightened as to the kind of Being God Himself was and the kind of person each of us should strive to be. In the above mentioned incident involving the woman who was to be stoned, He responded to questions designed to trap Him concerning the woman’s fate under the law. Rather than telling the men the law was not right, as they hoped, He simply said that the first stone should be thrown by the person in the group who had no sin. Of course, only Jesus Himself met that criterion, but when the men slid away, He too refused to judge her. He only instructed her to abandon her sin.
In His brief ministry, Jesus healed the sick, treated with respect those who were treated by the world as nothing, refused to turn away children when He was tired, and gave up everything to devote His life to teaching the gospel. When His mission came to a close, He took on Himself the sins of the world and then voluntarily allowed Himself to be killed. He overcame that death and sin, overcoming the two darkest parts of our lives.
Today, even though He isn’t with us on Earth, we can still be guided by His light. His light is one of love, and staying in its path will keep us safe. One way we can stay connected to the light of Jesus is by learning to recognize and obey the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was sent to the disciples to help them after Jesus’ death. It can help teach us new things, as well as remind us of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus taught: “(t)he Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 NKJV).
James taught, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting” (James 1:5-6, NKJV). Sometimes people are afraid that if they pray that they won’t be able to understand the direction given by the Holy Spirit. We can take comfort in the fact that God never makes a promise He can’t keep, and that He promised to answer us. “For with God nothing will be impossible (Luke 1:37 NKJV).
Christians believe that as they improve the quality of their prayers and their ability to receive answers, the light within them grows, so that no matter how dark the day or the situation of life, they are surrounded by peace, joy, and truth. Christians also have confidence in their own resurrection. Jesus overcame death and sin. This is why Jesus is called the light of the world: His light is the only source of the joy God has promised can be ours.