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Chapter 6: Jesus the Light of the World

Darkness of World

Have you ever walked in the dark and wished for a light so you could see? You didn’t know what dangers might be on either side of you, or in the path ahead. May- be you weren’t even sure you were going in the right direction. It’s so easy to get lost in the dark.

Or perhaps you have spent a night in fear of some danger, known or unknown. How different everything seemed the next day in the bright, cheery sunshine! You can easily understand why the Bible uses darkness as a symbol of evil, error, uncertainty, trouble, and death. Light is a symbol of life, joy truth, and all that is good.

Darkness is the absence of light. The world was plunged into spiritual darkness the instant that sin separated Adam and Eve from God. Why? Because God is the source of light. Without Him we can only wander around in the dark – lost, not knowing where we are going. The Bible describes this condition:

Isaiah 59:2,9,10. Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither both justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes.

Ephesians 4:18. ...whose minds are in the dark.

1 John 2:11. He who hates his brother is in the darkness; he walks in it, and he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has made him blind.

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For You to Do

1. What is darkness?
...a) A power in itself.
...b) The absence of light.
...c) A failure of sight.

2. What has brought spiritual darkness into the world?
...a) Fate.
...b) The non-existence of spiritual light.
...c) Sin that has separated man from God.

3. List each of the following under the right heading below; life, death, joy, good, evil, love, hatred, error, truth.

Darkness                   Light
............                        ...............
............                        ...............
............                        ...............

Light of God

God is light –– the source of all light. People are in spiritual darkness until they receive a special revelation of the light of God. That is why Jesus became the Light of the World; He came to give us God’s light –– to reveal to us God’s love and His will for us.

1 John 1:5. God is light and there is no darkness at all in Him.

John 1:4. The Word has life in Himself, and this life brought light to men.
Listen to Jesus’ words about Himself:

John 8:12. I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have the light of life and will never walk in darkness.

John 9:5. While I am in the world I am the light for the world.

It should not have surprised the people to hear Jesus call Himself the light of the world. The prophet Isaiah had predicted that the Messiah would come as the Light of God. Matthew quoted this Old Testament prophecy and said that it came true in Jesus:

Matthew 4:16. The people who live in darkness will see a great light! On those who live in the dark land of death the light will shine!

For You to Do

4. What bible verse tells us that God is light?
Memorize it.

5. Who said: “I am the light of the world?”

6. Memorize John 8:12. What did Jesus say we would have if we follow Him?

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Light drives away darkness

Light drives away darkness.

Jesus, the light, drives out darkness. His presence in the heart drives out sin, guilt, and fear. His love drives out hatred. His light brings hope, assurance, comfort, and strength, to the soul.

Psalm 27:1. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Light is stronger than darkness. “All the darkness in the world can’t put out a single candle.” If you have Jesus in your life, the powers of evil around you and the dark experiences of life cannot put out His light. A Christian woman who had been sick for months and unable to leave her bed was always cheerful. Someone asked her how she could be so happy when she couldn’t even get out to see the sun. She said, “My room is dark but I have the Son in my heart.” Jesus was her inner source of spiritual light that drove away the gloom. He flooded her soul with sunshine.

John 1:5. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

Micah 7:8. When I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.

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For You to Do

7. What can drive fears, guilt, sin, hatred, resentment out of a person’s heart?
...a) Positive thinking.
...b) Rules for right attitudes.
...c) Jesus’ presence in his life.

8. Think: Do you need Jesus to drive any of this darkness out of your life? Do you have an inner light that shines through when you are suffering or have trouble?

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Light reveals

Light makes it possible for us to see things as they are. The only way we can know spiritual light that comes from God. We find this light in God’s written Word –– the Bible –– and in God’s living Word –– Jesus Christ. Jesus is the revealer and interpreter of life. He helps us understand God’s Word and shows us God’s way for us. He, Himself, is the way.

John 14:6. Jesus answered him: I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.

Jesus helps us see ourselves as we really are. In His perfect life and teachings, we see how far short we come of God’s standards for us. We see our sins, our pride, self-centeredness, and hidden motives. Jesus shows us our need of the forgiveness and new life that He offers us.

Jesus shows us what God is like and how He will meet our needs. In Jesus we see God’s love for us, His patience with us, and His provision for our salvation. He shows us how to receive God into our lives and enjoy His light forever.

2 Corinthians 4:6. The God who said, "Out of darkness the light shall shine!" is the same God who made His light shine in our hearts, to bring us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, shining in the face of Christ.

Hebrews 1:3. He shines with the brightness of God’s glory; He is the exact likeness of God’s own being.

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For You to Do

9. Name two places where we can find the truth about ourselves, God, and life

10. Memorize 2 Corinthians 4:6

11. In 2 Corinthians 4:6, where does God’s glory shine?

12. Where does God make His light shine to bring us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory?

13. In Hebrews 1:3. what light does Jesus shine with?

14. Think: Would you like to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ?

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Light is energy

Light is radiant energy. Scientists are learning more and more about the power of light radiating from the sun. Its energy is a tremendous source of power for human use. People can use it to heat their homes and operate their machines. But greatest of all is its effect on life and health. Many plants won’t grow in the shade. Sunlight kills many germs and contributes to our health and strength. Think of earth without the sun. No warmth. No life. No force to hold it in orbit. A frozen ball lost in a  black sky, on its way to destruction.

What the sun is to the earth, Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, is to us. He brings life, warmth, health, energy, and power to those who accept Him. His power holds us in the right orbit. He heals our bodies and spirits. The light of life that Jesus gives is stronger than death. Like the plant bursting from the seed and rising to meet the sunlight, the dead who have followed Jesus will come out of the grave with a new body and rise to meet Him when He comes back to earth.

Malachi 4:2. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings.

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For You to Do

15. What title of Jesus do we find in Malachi 4:2?

16. Think: How is a person without Jesus like the earth without the sun? Do you know anyone like that? If so, ask God to help him find Jesus.

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Light is impartial

Light is for everybody, everywhere. Just as the sun shines on the hilltop and in the valley, on the rich and the poor, on wise men and fools; so the light of Jesus shines for all the world, on both good and bad. Some people thought the Savior would be just for their nation. But God makes it plain that His light of salvation is for all the world.

John 1:9. This was the real light, the light that comes into the world and shines on all men.

Luke 1:78,79. For our God is merciful and tender; He will cause the bright dawn of salvation to rise on us, and shine from heaven on all those who live in the dark shadow of death, to guide our steps into the path of peace.

A blind man sat by the roadside begging. He heard a crowd coming. He learned that Jesus was passing by and the crowd was with Him. The beggar had heard about Jesus’ power to heal. He cried out with a loud voice; “Jesus! Son of David! Have mercy on me!” The people scolded him and told him to be quiet. They didn’t think Jesus had time to help a beggar. But Jesus has time and help for everyone who calls to Him. The beggar kept calling. Jesus stopped and had the beggar brought to Him. Jesus healed him.

Luke 18:43. At once he was able to see, and he followed Jesus, giving thanks to God.

Life took on new meaning and new direction after the beggar met Jesus. His world of darkness turned to day. It didn’t matter what he had been. Where he had sat begging, how he had stumbled in the dark. Now he walked in the light –– no longer a blind beggar but a follower of Jesus the Light of the world!

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For You to Do

17. John 8:12 says that Jesus came to be
...a) The Light for His nation alone.
...b) The Sun of righteousness.
...c) the Light of the world.

18. Fulfilling Luke 1:78,79, God has caused the bright dawn of salvation to rise on....., and shine from heaven on ...... in the dark shadow of death.

Read Luke 1:78,79 again putting your own name in the blanks

19. Think: How was the beggar’s life changed by calling to Jesus and meeting Him? How will Jesus change your life if you ask Him? Are there people around youb who need Jesus? Do you lead them to Him or just pass by them?

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Reaction to light

Some people don’t like Jesus and refuse to accept His light. They want to go ahead and live like they want to, have their own way, and not do what Jesus tells them to. When Jesus was on earth, some people hated Him because His teaching showed them what sinners they were. They wanted to put out the light, to kill Him. They fought against the gospel.

Jesus let them know that He has brought salvation for everyone. Whoever accepts Him will be saved. But those who refuse His light are condemning themselves to live and die in darkness.

John 3:19,20. This is how the judgment works; the light has come into the world, but men love the darkness rather than the light, because they do evil things. And anyone who does evil things hates the light and will not come to the light, because he does not want his evil deeds to be shown up.

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For You to Do

20. Think: Do you know people who have rejected Jesus? Why do you suppose they have? What will happen to them? Do you suppose they would change their minds if they knew more about Jesus? What about those who just put off making any decision about whether to accept Jesus or not –– is this rejection? What do you suppose God feels about those who refuse the salvation that He offers them in Jesus?

Jesus promised. “Whoever follows me will have the light of life.” This is a possession and a continuing experience. Jesus is the light. To have Him is to have the light of life and all that light brings. Having the light of the world is more than knowledge, more than will power, more than belonging to a certain religion. It is more than knowing about Jesus or knowing His teachings. It is having Jesus Himself as a radiant, energetic, revealing force in your life.

Jesus says. “Whoever follows me.” To have the light of God we must do something –– follow Jesus, walk in His light. God reveals Himself and His truth to those who are willing to accept the truth and follow Him. He guides us day by day.

1 John 1:7. If we live in the light –– just as He is in the light –– then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, makes us clean from every sin.

Proverbs 4:18. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

Do you want to follow Jesus and have the light of life? Welcome Him into every area of your life now. Let His bright presence drive all darkness away. Follow His light and share it with those around you. Turn your life over to Him so He can fill it with His light.

Prayer: Jesus, please come into my life. Take away the darkness of my sins and fears. Change me into the kind of person You want me to be. Make me radiant with Your light. Help me follow you every day. Thank You for your light.

21. Memorize 1 John 1:7. What does Jesus blood do for us if we live in the light?

22. If you have not already accepted Jesus will you do it now? You can use the prayer given here or pray in your own words. If you have accepted Him, thank Him for His light. Ask Him to help you walk in it and share it with others.

Check your answers.

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Chapter 6: Answers

The questions in this lesson ask for 24 items of information. From 22 to 24 correct is excellent; 18 to 21, good; 13 to 17, fair. If you have less than 13 correct, read the lesson again.

1. b) The absence of light.
2. c) Sin that has separated man from God.
3. Darkness: death, evil, hatred, error. Light: life, joy, good, love, truth.
4. 1 John 1:5
5. Jesus
6. The light of life
7. c) Jesus presence in his life.
9. a) In the Bible; b) In Jesus
11. In the face of Christ.
12. In our hearts.
13. The brightness of God’s glory.
15. Sun of righteousness.
17. c) The Light of the world
18. us, all those who live.
21. Makes us clean from all our sins.

Number of correct answers......Grade........

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Go to Chapter 7: Jesus the Healer and Baptizer