Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 8 August 2013
Page 7

Priscilla's Page Editor's Note

Jesus Is the Light!

Bonnie Rushmore“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’” (John 8:12 NKJV). Jesus claimed to be “the light of the world,” but what is this “light”? Before one can claim the “light of life” as Jesus promised, one must understand the meaning of “the light.” The Greek word for light, phos means to “shine or make manifest, especially by rays” (Strong’s). Nelson’s Bible Dictionary describes this light as an “Illumination; the opposite of darkness.” “Jesus is the “personification of light or divine illumination” (Nelson’s). The light Jesus discussed is an illumination, and He is the source of that radiance.

Isaiah predicted that Jesus would be “the light of the world.” “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2). Also consider Isaiah 60:1-3. We see the fulfillment of this prophecy in Matthew 4:15-16 and John 12:35-36, 46.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:1-5). Here, the apostle John stated that Jesus is the light and that He was with God in the beginning when God spoke light into existence and divided the light from darkness (Genesis 1:3).

James told us that God is the Father of light. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). First John 1:5 says, “This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” Heaven has no need for the created light since the glory of God lights it, and Jesus is the light (Revelation 21:23). God is light, and Jesus Christ is light – since both are deity!

Throughout the New Testament, light is used as a symbol for truth, righteousness, goodness, redemption, knowledge, purity and holiness. On the other hand, darkness is portrayed as error, evil, ignorance, death, and sin – the works of Satan. “As the sun is the source of all light, power, and energy on earth, Jesus the Sun of righteousness is the source of all spiritual light, power, and energy. Light is the only thing that can come into contact with filth and remain uncontaminated” (Coffman).

The Bible also symbolizes light as the Word of God. John 1:1-5 affirms that Jesus is the Word, and He is the Light. The Book of Psalms declares, “Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path” (Psalms 119:104-105). “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1). Jesus is the light, and through His Word – the Bible, we obtain the knowledge that will set us free from the darkness of sin. The light of Jesus is not salvation, but the knowledge of His will, by which obedience to His Word redeems our sin-sick souls. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Jesus is the light, and it is the illumination of His light that brings the hope of salvation to a lost world hiding in a sea of darkness. Jesus exposes the darkness to the light in hopes that all who see it will become faithful followers, seeking an eternal home where there is no night.

Works Cited

Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. CD-Rom. Seattle: Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, 1994.

Burton Coffman Commentaries. CD-Rom. Abilene: ACU Press, 2001.

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary. CD-Rom. Nashville: Nelson, 1986.

The God of All Comfort

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeWhen we experience suffering for any reason, the apostle Paul speaks of the ultimate comfort that can only come from the divine God. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, he proclaimed, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble [tribulation], with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” When we experience loss, sorrow and grief, God is the God of all comfort.

Second Thessalonians 2:16-17 reads, “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish [strengthen] you in every good word and work.” W.E. Vine stated verse 16 combines encouragement with alleviation of grief. God fills us with His peace, joy and comfort as He heals our broken hearts. Psalm 147:3 tells us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” We must trust God to keep us from falling into total despair.

One good preacher wrote, “Friends seek to console—words, hugs, express sympathies; sometimes just a meeting of loving eyes tell the story best—‘I love you and I care for you’—a thousand and one attempts at sharing a burden. Yet, often they all fall so far short. The struggle remains. Faith in God—trust in Him is found to be the most valuable asset of all. It is precious—indescribable! The blessing of blessings is found when memory reminds that this most special loved one, through the grace of God, is safe in the arms of Jesus! Safe—SAFE!!!”

For this writer the word “comfort” is best defined: to soothe, to console, to encourage. It means all of these expressions to comfort are done with sensitivity, gentleness and a great tenderness. This is so beautifully expressed at the end of Job’s unequaled suffering in Job 42:11. “Then all his brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the LORD had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold.”

Confusion, doubt and worry are expelled as consolation and comfort emerges in Psalm 94:19, which reads, “In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” The ESV states it this way: “When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 119:76 asserts, “Let, I pray, Your merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to Your word to Your servant.” Mercy has been defined as compassion in action. Kindness is the willingness to become involved in the needs of another. Our God reigns supreme in both!

In his book, Everyday Comfort—Readings for the First Month of Grief, Randy Becton wrote, “We must nudge each other closer to the source of comfort, the one we can trust: God our loving Father. He will direct. Ask him and expect him to do so” (77).

The source of comfort is divinely expressed in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 in the first paragraph of this article. The one we can trust: the Bible overflows with passages which declare that promise. “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is proven. He is a shield to all who trust in Him” (2 Samuel 22:31). God our loving Father is the theme that threads through all of Scripture. “Cause me to hear Your loving-kindness in the morning; for in You do I trust. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:8). He will direct. Ask him and expect Him to do so. “Direct my steps by Your word and let no iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:133).

As we reflect upon God’s unfailing truths, His consolations and comforts are soothing to the mind. We look to God’s promises that are always proven and positive to us, and our minds become settled. This can only be experienced by those who have faith and trust in Him, no matter how painful the experiences of life become. We must understand that God is forever in control, and we must believe that there is plan and purpose behind all that He allows.

The Adult Bible Quarterly of the Minor Prophets II – Spring 1995 contains a lesson from the Book of Habakkuk. The author states five fundamental lessons that the Book teaches about placing absolute confidence in God. One of those lessons is: “At times God’s actions cause our hearts to pound, our lips to quiver, and our bones to melt. Yet, as an evil world and society reap the consequences of their ungodliness, causing us grief and loss, the God of our salvation remains our firm hope and constant joy.” Amen to that!

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