Shining the ‘LIGHT’ of JESUS CHRIST in our ‘DARK WORLD’
July 18 Bible Reading: Isaiah Chapters 7-9
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:2)
The district of Galilee, located in the hill country of Zebulun and Naphtali, was inhabited by a mixed population of Israelites and heathen. Years after Joshua led the Israelites in their conquest of Canaan, Canaanites still inhabited the region (Judges 1:30–33; 4:2). Galilee was also situated on a major trade route, which brought foreigners to the area and came to be called as the“Galilee of the Gentiles” (9:1).
However, God promised to send a “great light” on these “people who walked in darkness” (9:2). Who was this ‘light’, who came for both Gentiles and Israelites? God promised, through the birth of a child, to shatter the darkness of gentile occupation experienced by the ten tribes of Israel.According to the Gospel of Matthew, this ‘light’ was Jesus Christ: “When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee … that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah” (Matt. 4:12–17). Although Galilee was held in contempt (2 Kings 15:29), the promised Christ would dwell there as a source of light to the Gentiles.Jesus Christ is the ‘light’ that God sent even to the Gentiles as the expression of His love for the whole world!
Let us understand that ‘light’ stands for God’s blessings, presence, and revelation (9:2; 30:26; 42:6, 16; 60:1–3). The Lord is the light in blessing and in judgment (10:17; 60:19, 20; John 1:4; 8:12). People who exchange His light for the darkness of their corrupt minds (5:20; 8:20), will one day experience His judgment and live in the darkness of separation from God (5:30; 13:10; 59:9)
Today, we are the light of the world, as Jesus Himself has stated: "You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt 5:14, 16). As His children, we are required to shine the light of Jesus in our dark world as we model His saving grace to the people living in sin and darkness.
"He who believes in Him (Jesus Christ) is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." (John 3:18-20)