Photo by Bjorn Simon
Early in His ministry, Jesus moved from Nazareth to Capernaum. I want you to take a look at what the gospel writer Matthew says about it.
12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee. 13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:12 – 16
Jesus showed up in town and a great light dawned on those sitting in darkness. Why would this be said of Him?
Jesus the Light
In the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus Christ makes several statements about Himself that reveals His true nature and identity. One of the most familiar of those statement is found in John 8:12.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
If He is the Light of the world, we must seriously consider what that means. The primary definition of light is “something that makes vision possible” (Merriam-Webster). According to that definition, He is the One that enables us to see as we have never seen before. But what is there about Him that causes us to see? Fortunately for us, the Gospel of John tells us.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. John 1:4
The Greeks have more than one word for life. Bios refers to natural life. It is from this word that our word biology (the study of life) is derived. The word for life used here, however, is the Greek word zoe. Zoe refers to life in the absolute sense; life at its absolute fullest. With the coming of Christ it was given the higher meaning of life as God has it, or, perhaps, the life that God is.
It was this life in Jesus that became the light of men. In Him man was able to see life as they had never seen it before. Anything that had been considered life up until that point now absolutely paled by comparison. Everyone who encountered Him was enlightened on a new level (John 1:9). This light that radiated from the life that was in Him shone in the midst of a world of death and darkness. Try as it might, the darkness was incapable of seizing the light and extinguishing it in any way (John 1:5).
Looking at Jesus
The life in Jesus being the light reminds me of Psalm 36:9
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light do we see light.
Here we see the connection of life and light once again. Looking at Jesus we see as we have never seen before. The blindness caused by darkness is over. A light has dawned. True vision is the privilege of those who are living in the Reign.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.