Advent: The Light of the World
“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.’ So the Pharisees said to him, ‘You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.’ Jesus answered, ‘Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.'” (John 8:12-18)
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
Read: John 8:1-59
Jesus told his twelve disciples, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). This simple interaction followed a discussion with the woman caught in the act of adultery, a lengthy discourse with the crowds, challenges from the Pharisees, and narrowly escaping stoning. John 8 is full of bold Messianic claims by Jesus, grace extended to the broken, and a promise of freedom in the light of Christ.
Immediately after rescuing the woman caught in adultery, Jesus addressed the crowd that had surrounded them: “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). There is no better message the Messiah could have spoken in that instant. Jesus told the crowd they were walking in darkness and claimed that He was the Light able to pierce that darkness. Jesus said to the Pharisees later in the passage, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). Christ did not shy away from pointing out the darkness people lived in, because He knew they could only see by the light that He provided. But, many were scared of the light and challenged His authority. Some believed but many rejected His claim.
Millions around the world are still living in the darkness and brokenness of sin. They have either rejected Christ as Lord or simply not yet heard of His coming. If you have received Christ into your heart and been made new by His grace and forgiveness, then you now have the “light of life” within you. You have seen the glory of Jesus and it has transformed your soul from the inside out!
- Meditate on the light Christ brings. What is your first reaction to Christ’s claim as the “Light of the world”? Are you thankful in the peace His light brings, or does your flesh well up in defense against Him? The light of Christ burns bright and reveals sinful postures in our hearts, but He also brings healing and hope with it.
- Show the light of Christ to those around you this month. Serve others humbly, love them deeply, and teach them about Jesus.
- Make a list of family members, friends, and neighbors that don’t yet know Jesus. Post it somewhere you will see often and pray for them every day this December. Pray for opportunities to speak the Gospel into their lives and for boldness to be faithful.
Lord Jesus, you are truly the Light of the world. Your glory shined into the darkness of the world and the darkness of my flesh. Thank you for revealing my sin and for drawing me to yourself for repentance. By your Spirit, continually remind me to walk in the light of Christ and to intentionally pursue ways to proclaim light and truth to the lost around me.
Family Discipleship Time
- Is light a good thing? What do we need light for? (sun, warmth, flashlights to see, food for plants, etc.)
- Why would someone hide from the light? (hiding sin, running away from something, not wanting accept truth, etc.)
- What does it mean when Jesus says, “I am the Light of the world?” (Jesus is the hope of the world, the Messiah who can rescue us from the darkness of sin, who reveals and removes darkness)
- What are some ways that we can show the light of Jesus to others around us? (loving people by building friendships that go deeper than acquaintances, finding ways to serve and love those whom no one else loves, loving people who can do nothing in return, teaching them the Gospel message — the great news of Jesus coming to earth as a man, living a sinless life, dying to pay for our sin, then rising again on the third day and enabling us to once again have a perfect relationship with our Creator God)
- “How to Host a Missional Family Advent Celebration” via International Mission Board
- “Missional Routines” by Scott Hildreth (SEBTS)
- Song – “Light of the World”
Free Advent Bible Study (2023)
Let’s stand back and marvel at God’s grace and sovereignty, and focus on God this Christmas. May we join with the angels singing, “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14).
Join this 25-day Advent journey as we worship Christ and celebrate his coming.
John Ragon is Snowbird’s website manager. He lives in Western NC with his wife and six amazing kids, and began serving at Snowbird in 2009 after graduating from Union University.
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