This is another meeting.
Many years ago I heard a preacher talking about admonishing someone who tried to tell him about their dreams of Jesus. The speaker was not interested with what the image in the dream looked like but what he said, for the words could be then be validated, or not, against the word of God.
If what Jesus said is of the utmost importance, and it is, then let's look at that and compare a couple of translations because even under what seems like the worst of conditions there is life in those words.
John 8:12 ESV 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."
I am the light of the world. What does that mean?
Clearly the impact is toward everyone, but does everyone enjoy that light? No; then why not?
For one, there has to be an acceptance.
Jesus was not selective, he poured out his blood so that the entire earth could have the opportunity to enjoy a life that sin had excluded us from. God spelled that out when he laid out the plans for the temple in desert. For no one with sin could enter his presence, therefore Jesus shed his blood on our behalf, giving us access to God.
Now acceptance of all that is another thing all together and necessary to enjoy the hope that is in salvation.
Light eliminates darkness, but as you will see, darkness implies shadow and obscurity. Just look casually around you, especially inside the church building and you will find that most are walking in at least the shadows of darkness. As we pass each other in the hall ways and say, “how are you doing,” not really caring about the answer so much as the formality, internally many are suffering from tremendous conflict inside.
Here is a little human understanding. Placing a candle randomly in a room produces some light there. There is no longer complete darkness, but there are things in a typical room that will obscure the light, and there are even places where the darkness can be fairly intense. Should you have a phobia you may not want to even go in that area without taking the light with you.
But this is a human perspective for scripture tells us that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.
1 John 1:5 ESV This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
So for Jesus to say I am the light, is to say that he is: that which shines, illuminates, God himself, and the eliminator of darkness. We would love to say the destroyer of darkness and that day will come, but we know that darkness still exists. We would have had no need for a light is there were no darkness, no obscurity or shadows, but there is and we still stumble in it.
This stumbling in the shadows is what we call sin.
I know most of you have heard the explanations of where the term sin comes from. It is an old English word used in archery for missing the mark.
Having shot competitive archery for a time, allow me to expound. The mark or bulls-eye is about four inches in diameter, and at 80 yards out it seems to be about an inch. The bale holding the target has many point value rings but the goal is to hit the center smallest one obtaining the highest point value. Merely missing outside the bulls-eye is to miss the mark, but in life I was shooting at the target and struck it.
Was I trying to hit the mark? Certainly. But to miss the bale holding the target completely demonstrates a lack of skill or effort and anyone can do that.
While working toward improving your skills at hitting the bulls-eye is appropriate be careful not to get wrapped up in works (your thinking that you have to do this on your own or your acceptance into God's grace involves your mastery at hitting a bullseye). Our life and light is based in faith and God's actions toward us.
This light that comes package as Jesus is a free gift and no one gets more or less, they merely become more skillful at eliminating the darkness, and obscurity that the enemy of our souls is constantly trying to push into your life.