Gordon-Conwell Blog

Advent Devotional Day 17: Light of the World

December 19, 2017

2017 Gordon-Conwell Advent Devotional

Day 17 | Light of the World

John 8:12


“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.’”

The “I AMs” spoken by Jesus are bold statements of faith, purpose and truth. Each declaration reveals an aspect of his role on the earth. In John 8:12, we find Jesus facing a group of scribes and Pharisees who were trying to test his wisdom. He had just settled a dark situation concerning a woman caught in adultery, leaving them unable to carry out their agenda according to the law. 

This claim of being the light of the world was made during the time of the year when the Jews celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. The lights used at night often consisted of large lamps that illuminated much of Jerusalem. The lighting of the city served as a memorial of the pillar of fire God used to lead the children of Israel in the wilderness. Many attending the feasts would have understood the reference behind the scope of Jesus’ claim (John 12:46). 

We have various forms of natural and artificial light that provide a certain amount of illumination when needed. Day or night our options consist of the sun, light fixtures, lamps and candles. All of these instruments supply limited lighting based on time and space. Jesus’ declaration to be the light of the world is unlimited and eternal. As long as he is in the world, he is the light of the world providing light in darkness (John 9:5). 

When Jesus completed his assignment on earth, he made a new declaration that we are now the light of the world (Matt 5:14). This light abiding in us brings clarity to those in dark places and goes beyond the holiday season. Let us be the lights of the world so others may come out of darkness and receive the gift of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the light of life.





     Dr. Virginia Ward
     Assistant Dean of Gordon-Conwell’s Boston Campus;
     Assistant Professor of Youth and Leadership Development.




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