Light the World

Let there be light, and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)

What is the meaning of “light” in the third verse in Genesis? And why does God distinguish the “light” in verse 4? After all, everyone knows that light is essential to life and certainly is the opposite of darkness. These things all seem self-evident.

God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. (John 1:4)

Perhaps God is not only referring to physical light but also spiritual light, as alluded to by the prophet Isaiah.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9: 2).

Or, as stated directly by King David.

The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)

More than the light from a candle, this flame is constant — non-flickering. As John reminded us some four thousand years later.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he 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)

It’s not that much of a stretch to imagine that “the picture of light presented in the creation account is a hint of the Light of the world — the Lamb of God — who is fully revealed to us in the New Testament, concluded David Limbaugh, in his book The Emmaus Code: Finding Jesus in the Old Testament.

Both lights are important. Physical light is necessary for physical life. The earth would not be anything we recognize if there were no longer sunlight.

But most important are two promises that undergird the joy of all Christians. First, as believers, there is assurance of salvation. We will never walk in darkness.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

Second is the promise that we will reflect the Light of Life (Jesus). Just as Jesus came as the light of the world, he commands us to be “lights”. As it is with the moon that has no light of its own, but reflects the light of the sun, so we believers are charged to reflect the Light of Christ so that all see it in us.

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden… let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14, 16)

The Light is our joy and our salvation.