“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 NIV
We’re pretty familiar with the first part of this verse. “I am the light of the world.” It also reminds us of when Jesus said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
But the second part we almost never quote. I think that’s because we don’t remember it. At least, I don’t.
“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Ok, we get the following-Jesus part. That’s familiar to us.
“Never walk in darkness” - now that’s powerful and we can see that happen in our physical world, right?
Walk into a dark room, garage, or abandoned building at night. All the lights are off. It can feel a bit ominous. Especially if it’s an unfamiliar room. A large room even more so.
But strike a match or snap on a flashlight and things immediately change as the darkness instantly shrinks back. It practically evaporates. No darkness remains where the light is shining.
I call that powerful.
But there’s more to this amazing verse.
“...but will have the light of life.”
“Have.” Like, possess. We who follow Jesus will possess the light of life.
Now we’re talking about a light that is so powerful it carries life. Not just energy—life. And this power...we carry it too. It’s called “Christ in me” or me being “in Christ.”
We possess this light and by nature, we shine it. We radiate it like a fire radiates light and heat. We can’t help it.
But, we can shut it down by covering it. You can click on a flashlight and then cover the end with your hand. This is when we forget who we are and allow life circumstances to douse our light effectively making us appear as darkness. That’s scary. And it happens a lot.
What would our family look like if everyone in the family believed they were full of God’s light (power, love, self-control)?
What would our city look like if everyone walked as children of light?
What would my life look like if I got up every morning asking the Lord, “What would you have me do today?”
These aren’t unreasonable questions when you remember you possess the light of life.
You carry life.
You radiate life.
You shine life.
So maybe we start with a simple prayer.
Lord, thank you for being the light of the world.
Lord, thank you for making me the light of the world in your place.
Lord, help me hear from you as I start my day in your word.
Lord, what would you have me do today?