(This is the second post in a 7-part series on Jesus’ description of Himself)
While visiting the caves of Luray Caverns, we meandered among the stalactites and stalagmites into a small chamber at the end of one of the crystallized walkways. Occasional drips of water splashed onto the natural limestone surfaces.
In her calm and steady voice, our guide said, “Don’t panic.” Then she turned off the small lights embedded in the floor walkway. Gasp!
Nervous laughter followed… and a few yelps for “Mom?!” (and not just a few moms hailed their children). Of course, we were all still there. No one teleported in or out. But darkness does do crazy things to one’s mind.
I held my hand inches from my face…nothing! Not one flicker of light seeped into that cave. Pitch black darkness. Our guide eventually turned her flashlight back on. There was my hand so very close to my nose. We stepped aside to allow her to lead the way out. We knew we were dependent on her and her light to finish our underground, cavernous journey.
Darkness turns to Light
Into the darkness of our world, Jesus stepped in like a floodlight! He illuminated the way to life and eternal presence with the Father. Among people wandering lost in the dark maze of religious rules, Jesus taught with clarity about the true Light.
Jesus 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)
When he spoke these words, the Hebrew community was celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. The people gathered annually for this week of thanksgiving to praise God for the harvest and his provisions. Each night massive lamps edging the massive courtyard burned brightly, dispelling the darkness with a brilliant radiance.
Boldly, Jesus declared his calling. With the backdrop of the great lamps of the Feast, He issued a very real invitation: follow him and never walk in darkness. He alone is the light of the world.
A beautiful metaphor. Many people came to faith that day (John 8:30) but the religious leaders sank deeper into their cavern of darkness. They picked up rocks even to stone him but Jesus slipped away from the temple grounds. (John 8:59)
Interestingly, John follows this chapter in his gospel with illustrations of physical and spiritual blindness. Darkness comes in many forms.
Is Jesus the light in your life? Does he, and he alone, illuminate your concerns? Does he shed light on difficult situations? Do you allow his guidance to radiate into all that you do and say?
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you:
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)
If your world is dusky, would you consider the full and true Light of life? We truly rarely experience that cave-like utter darkness. The slightest beam dispels the dark. Nightlights and clock lights glow; street lights and moonlight pierce the darkness outside. Spiritually, we often choose to experience Jesus in this dusky world… like a light on the lowest dimmer setting.
This space of gray is a deceiving place. We are meant for SO MUCH MORE! Declare this statement, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (John 9:25) Now…truly live in this manner!
May we each choose to follow Jesus and to never walk in darkness.
Our response then is to worship.
Next post in the series: Come to the Door, Please