John 9:5

“I am the light of the world.”

Light for our world

It is easy to recognize Jesus is talking about more than physical light.  But do we really pause and consider this light in more depth?

Some years ago our family was camping at a state park where there were caves. We went into one that had a fairly level, but twisting path. Eventually, we reached a point where no light from the entrance could reach.

We stopped, and I turned off my flashlight. Total darkness! Our eyes strained to find light! We were lost with no idea of where to turn, completely without direction. After a few minutes, I turned on my flashlight, and we started back to the entrance of the cave. What a relief it was when we saw the first hints of outside light!

This experience re-enforces the impact of Jesus’ statement of being the light of the world. A physical experience likes this drives home the meaning of what Jesus is talking about.

There is another essential word in Jesus’ statement, world.

Recognize this word for what it is: a universal statement without restriction. Jesus is saying that he is not just the light for his followers or the Jews of his time but of everyone. We cannot limit “the world” to a particular denomination, or group of Christians, or country. It includes the entire human population.

One of our Lenten tasks is to seriously meditate on this claim by Jesus and what it means for the way we see him during these difficult times … and “live the love of Christ.”

— Don Johnson


Prayer:  Gracious God of the universe, guide me this day and every day in growing my faith and trust in you. Amen.

To ponder: How is Jesus the light even for those who do not believe in him?