Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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You are the Light
Light in the Night!
Terry R. Baughman
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house” (Matthew 5:14-15 NIV).
The theme of light is seen frequently in the Gospel of John. From the witness of the messenger who prepared the way for Jesus to His bold self-revealing “I AM” statements, the mission and deity of Jesus was proclaimed. The Apostle introduced John, the baptizer, as the witness of the light that was coming into the world. Jesus confirmed that mission when He said, “John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light” (John 5:35 NIV). However, the light was greater than John.
Among numerous other “I AM” statements in the Gospel, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12 NIV). From the beginning, the Apostle John established that John the Baptist wasn’t the source of light, but testified of its coming. He wrote, “He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:8-9 NIV). John was very careful to reserve the identity of the light to be the one and only Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus revealed Himself to be the light of the world, but only as long as He was present with them. Jesus said, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5 NIV). He indicated that a change was coming when darkness would come upon the world, and it would seem that the light had been extinguished. However, John also gave us the assurance that the darkness could not quench the light. He said, “This Light never fails to shine through darkness—Light that darkness could not overcome!” (John 1:5 TPT).
In the Sermon on the Mount, another facet of Jesus’ purpose was revealed. Jesus taught, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14 NIV). Followers of Christ were expected to become bearers of the light. They would further reflect the light of Christ to the world that others might see and believe. Not only was John the baptizer a witness of the light, we also are to declare the light of the world!
Jesus revealed a progression from “I AM” to “You are.” Yes, He is the eternal I AM, but He has also shared His mission with every believer when He stated, “You are ….” Paul wrote, “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV). We are not the light, but the reflected image of the glory of God through Jesus Christ.
We are to be a city on a hill, a lamp placed in a prominent location, to show the light of the Gospel in a darkened world. We should not take our lamp and hide it in an obscure place. Jesus taught, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:15 NIV). Paul warned, “If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3 NIV). May we receive the light and shine it in this generation, “You are the light of the world!”
“A fountain of life was in him, for his life is light for all humanity. And this Light never fails to shine through darkness—Light that darkness could not overcome! (John 1:4-5 TPT).