Light of the World

KEY VERSE: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” —John 9:5

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: John 9:1-12, 35-41

JESUS, IN AN earlier lesson (John 5:14), had healed a disabled man, telling him to sin no more lest a worse thing come unto him. Though many ailments that afflict mankind are, doubtless, due to improper living on their part, or that of their forefathers, they are seldom a particular mark of divine disapproval.

Jesus indicated that the blind man in today’s lesson had not sinned, “nor his parents, but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (vs. 3) The lesson, in God’s great economy, accomplished several things. The healing of the man’s malady would ultimately prove to be a blessing to himself and others: first, because it offered an opportunity to display Jesus’ power; second, it would prove to he a severe test upon the Pharisees and others; and thirdly it would, as well, instruct the Lord’s people from that day until the present time through its record in the Scriptures.

All men are born blind to the true character of God and his Son—blind to the truth of God’s Word—until enlightened by the true Light of the world. This man’s physical blindness was figurative of spiritual blindness, into which all have been born and in which they remain until the true Light of the world is revealed to them. That he was blind was neither his own fault, nor the fault of his parents; and neither was he being chastened for his sins. But the Lord, having mercy upon him, made ointment with soil and spittle and anointed his natural eyes. He was then bidden to go and wash in the waters of Siloam. And then he could see!

This incident prefigured how we can wash in God’s Word of truth and favor and become clean and healed. We too, just like the blind man, after having our eyes of understanding anointed, must ‘go and wash’ in the pool of Siloam—God’s Word of truth. The design of our Lord’s miracle was not merely to single out from thousands of sick and blind in this world, just this one man to be healed. But the purpose was to reveal himself as the Light of the world to those who would accept him.

The Lord said to each one of his followers: “Ye are the light of the world.” (Matt. 5:14) Truly, their eyes have been opened to ‘see’ Jesus as the ‘Light of the world’. These do not literally see Jesus, but they do have a mental understanding of him as their Savior, through the Holy Spirit of enlightenment.

While healing the blind man, Jesus said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:4) Jesus knew that he, the Light of the world, would be entirely extinguished for a time, at Calvary. But at Pentecost, the light was rekindled as it was spread abroad by the apostles and the Early Church through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Like our Lord, and like the early disciples, we too must work the works of God while it is yet day, for the nighttime of death also awaits each one of us. As Jesus said, we must “let our light shine before men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16) As the richly blessed disciples of Christ, opportunities abound for us where we may exercise our time, our talent, and our zeal, to diligently work toward bringing forth fruitage to the Lord’s praise, so that when that nighttime comes, and those opportunities cease, we will have done what we could to praise the Lord before we pass into death.

Meanwhile, we find the words of the Wise Man, Solomon, so fitting for those engaged in God’s service: “Do with thy might what thy hand findeth to do; for there is no work nor device nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.”—Eccles. 9:10

Dawn Bible Students Association
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