Day 14: Light
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light” (Isaiah 9:1-2).
“Leaving Nazareth, He went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:…the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned” (Matthew 4:13-16).
Several prophecies speak of the servant as being the light bearer, both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles. In addition to the above Isaiah verse, he also wrote, “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand. I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness” (42:6).
Such prophecies continued right up to the point when Simeon laid his eyes on the promised Messiah, the infant he held in his arms to bless, and he said, “Sovereign Lord, as You have promised, You may now dismiss Your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen Your salvation, which You have prepared in sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel” (Luke 2:29).
In all the drama of Jesus clearing the temple after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we should not miss the fact that He was not just going after the offenses of the lucrative money-changing and livestock-selling business of the priests. He was cleansing the area of the temple called “The Court of the Gentiles,” where God had made provision for all people to draw near to Him. Israel was supposed to be that light to the world of what the true God—their God—was like, but they had failed to do so. In fact, this marketplace was evidence they had become a barrier. Jesus came to be that light, and break down the wall of separation between God and man, Jew and Gentile.
The Gospel of John makes sure that we do not miss the point that Jesus laid claim to this prophecy. In the very beginning of his Gospel, he declares that Jesus was “the light of all mankind” and “the true light that gives light to everyone.” Later he quotes Jesus’ own words, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (8:12).
• How have you experienced a sense of “light” through your relationship with Christ?
How have you seen the contrast with the darkness around you?
• If you are a Gentile, how do you feel that you have been grafted into this light? If you are a Jew, what does it mean that you are walking in this light when so many of your people are in darkness?
Lord, I have such a profound sense of the grace that is mine that I have seen Your light. Guard me from choosing darkness in any form in my life.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries
Have questions about this blog? Email the author here.