Spiritual EnLIGHTenment

“...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

Dear reader, I hope you are pursuing last week’s challenge to read ALL of John’s gospel. Have you noticed the use of light and darkness in his telling of the good news of Jesus?

  • In the first chapter, Jesus is called the “true light, which enlightens everyone”.
  • In chapter 12, Jesus says, “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
  • And, in our own verse, Jesus says that he is the light of the world, and whoever follows him will have the light of life and will not walk in darkness.
Clearly, there is a lot of talk about light versus darkness. But, why? What is Jesus getting at? In the next three weeks, we will look at how John uses light to illustrate spiritual comprehension, morality and life.

This week, let’s zero in on how light is used to communicate the idea of comprehension or understanding. When used in this sense, Jesus is contrasting two ways of being: “in the light” and “in the dark”. Being “in the light” is characterized by being “enlightened” or having understanding. Being “in the dark” has the same sense as we use that phrase today - it characterizes those who do not have understanding. We all know what stumbling around in the dark feels like. Essentially, Jesus is giving us a picture image of what life without him looks like and what it feels like to believe in him (see 12:46). What an amazing promise we have when we believe in Jesus, that he will give us a framework for rightly understanding the world. We don’t have to be “in the dark” anymore about spiritual things. Rather, he wants to “enLIGHTen” our minds and give us spiritual understanding.


What are some things that you feel “in the dark” about spiritually? Ask Jesus to shed light on those things.


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