“I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”John 8:12 (NLT)
This week we are gaining fresh understanding of our purpose and mission, as Jesus Followers or apprentices of Jesus. He says we are the “Light of the World”. John Chapter 8 describes more fully how this illumination is sparked in our own lives. Jesus prompts his listeners by clarifying, “If you follow me”.
It’s in our orientation and path towards Jesus that we become lights of the world. It’s easy for us to look through our News Feed or read on Social Media about those making impact around the world, and be tempted to think through our own contributions to mission, without thinking FIRST about our dedication to Jesus. I quoted Craig Keener, a Bible Scholar on Sunday,
“Jesus refers here to more than good deeds; he refers to a good character. Such character comes only by embracing God’s kingship as a gift. The images of salt and light evoke consideration less of what we do than of what we are.”Craig Keener
New Testament Scholar
Our charisma is not the light of the world. Our accomplishments are not the light of the world. Our perfect marriage, children, and career are not the light of the world. Jesus is the light of the world and so are his apprentices, as we are oriented towards Him FIRST.
It’s not inherently wrong to take satisfaction in our work and service to the Lord, our accomplishments, or our breakthrough. But this all flows out of who we are becoming.
Take some time today and meditate on this passage from Jeremiah:
5 This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength
and turn their hearts away from the LORD.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the LORD
and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NLT)
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.