When was the last time that you took a walk at night when it was pitch black outside? It must have been in a place where there were no streetlights and on a night when the moon was not evident. It evokes a very insecure feeling, doesn’t it? You put your hands out in front of you and cautiously circle them around you so that you will not bump into anything. Your steps are slow and careful so that you will not trip over something or stub your toe. Your other senses become much more alert when your eyesight is limited and much of what you can do in the light comes to a standstill. Even a tiny light can lessen the fear or show you the way. By definition, darkness means the absence of light or lightlessness.
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus often used the word darkness to describe the spiritual condition of mankind in this world? He made it very clear to the crowds that they were “living in darkness”. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul described the people as “without hope and without God in the world” – that is real darkness. When Jesus came into this world, He brought into that darkness an unquenchable light – a light that opened up a view of life as it was meant to be lived. Until the birth of God’s Son, there had only been a promise that there would be Light. That promise was enough for all those, like Simeon (Luke 2: 32), who believed the truth that God would do what He said He would do. With the arrival of God’s Son, the possibility of the living in the continuous presence and confidence of His light became a reality.
There is no doubt that our world is filled with many kinds of “lights” – ones that offer a way out of darkness and promise to restore a measure of sight and visibility. They can be quite magnetic, attractive, and temporarily powerful. But there is only one true Light that shines brighter than all others and that Light was sent to us by God. Don’t you love Jesus’ promise to those who would believe in Him? “Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” – John 8: 12.