“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -Jesus (John 8:12)
One of the most easy to understand and yet stark teachings of Jesus was when he referred to himself as the light of the world. It’s such a simple analogy that we can easily comprehend…that Jesus, in his purity and perfection, in his eternal love and wisdom, is the light that brings clarity to our entire existence. Through an intimate connection to him, we can come to know God himself and his love for all of his creation. We can be transformed into people of light ourselves, reflecting the glory of God to the world around us and bringing the light of love and truth to all the dark places in the world.
Jesus says that whoever follows him will not walk in darkness. The apostle John echoes that sentiment when in his first epistle he writes, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). This simply means that the light of Jesus should affect us in a drastic way. It should cause us to live lives worthy of the calling we have received (Ephesians 4:1) and walk in a way that brings honor to the one who has given us everything for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It also means that the blood of Jesus, offered as a sacrifice on the cross for us, continually cleanses us of our mistakes if we are walking in his light.
True, there is much darkness in the world around us (John 3:19-20). But we are to be people who live in this world but are not of this world (Romans 12:2). People who are aliens in a strange country as we await the glorious return of our Savior Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:11-12). Our lives should be lived in stark contrast to the worldly desires around us, so much so, that the world cannot help but notice the light of Jesus shining through our example.
This is the true meaning of Christianity.