Do you have the light?
The Light of Life
Question: What is the force of the expression ‘the light of life' in the text. “I am the light of the world, he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12)?
The pillar of cloud and fire that guided Israel through the perils of the wilderness to the promised land has been used to illustrate this great saying, and it does in a measure serve, but there is more here than that. There is no light for any man except in JESUS, not now on earth but at the Father’s right hand in heaven; all else is darkness. The sun shines for all, so the light in the face of Jesus is for all, but only those who follow, and so “walk in the light” are blest by it. Following has a large placc in John’s Gospel. Those who followed their Lord, recognised who lie was, the sent One of God, and they became attached to Him. Peter spoke the word for them all when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
The light is the revelation of God in His beloved Son, and there is no true life for men apart from that light. “This is life eternal to know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3). The light produces the life and the life needs the light; the Lord Jesus is both the Light and the Life. He becomes indispensable to those in whose hearts the light has shone; they love Him. and depend upon Him, without Him they can do nothing, He is their life and He is the light of their life. All this is involved in following Him.
First the light and then the life, as in the first creation; then the life guided and sustained by the light of it. The feet are directed in the way to the heavenly inheritance by the light that shines upon the follower, but conscience and mind and heart arc illuminated, for the light shines in as well as on. “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). The light sets the posscsser of it in right relations with his surroundings, it enables him to see things in their true proportion, it exposes what is false, and is the revelation of what is true; it draws the soul onward to the place from whence it shines, which is the goal of all those who have life in the Son of God.
The life would be impossible without the light. We rejoice that we have the Son who is both the light and the life. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of man”, and following Him we do not walk in darkness, for He is the light of the life He has given to us.
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