There he sat in total darkness. There was light all around but he could not comprehend it. When Jesus and His disciples came upon this man who was blind from birth, the disciples wanted to turn the man’s tragic situation into a theological discussion. They asked, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind” (John 9:2)? Jesus said “neither” and preceded to move the conversation toward revelation and compassion.
Jesus answered, “This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him. We must do the works of Him who sent Me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:3-5).
A lot more than one man’s physical healing happened in this drama. The Light of the World brought about physical healing to this man’s eyes with the gift of physical light. Even more significant and profound is the spiritual dawning of the light of life Jesus spoke into this man’s existence.
John chapter 9 is an amazing and spiritually enlightening story that we will examine in parts. Jesus set the stage for this miracle by declaring Himself “the light of the world.” Jesus established the context for how we are to examine what took place. If we are to understand this story, we must seek illumination from other Scriptures about darkness and light.
This is not the first time the disciples have heard Jesus declare Himself as the light of the world. In fact, almost all of John 8 is a dispute between Jesus and the Pharisees which was started over Jesus’ previous declaration, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12).
Light is a symbol that has been used throughout the Bible in connection with Christ. God uses something real, foundational, and essential to every person to help us understand spiritual truth.
In the book of Genesis we see the first recorded words out of God’s mouth are, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). Isaiah, Zechariah (father of John the Baptist), and Simeon pointed to Jesus as the light that brings great revelation to people. John declared “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:4-5).
The man blind from birth did not comprehend physical or spiritual light without the help of Jesus. All men are spiritually blind at birth. No one can comprehend spiritual light without being granted a spiritual birth and spiritual eyes by the Spirit of God. Spiritual sight allows us to see ourselves in light of a Holy God. We are sinners who need a Savior. Darkness is not God’s plan for you. He sent His Son that we might have light and life.
Later, in explaining why people are condemned who reject the light of Christ, John stated, “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 3:19-20).
Note that Jesus was not simply saying that he was “a” light to the world or that he was “another” light to the world. Jesus was not saying that He has the light or that He points out the way to the light. He is declaring that He is the one and only light of the world.
Light enables us to see things that were there all along but because of darkness, we could not see them. “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God” (John 3:21). “But everything exposed by the light becomes visible” (Ephesians 4:13).
Some people avoid other Christians or attending church because they do not want Christ to shine His light on the way they are living.
The only way to benefit from His light is to follow Him. While one is close to the light, he is able to see. If one strays from the light, he is unable to see because of the darkness.
Have you ever trusted in Jesus Christ as the “Light of the World?” Have you experienced the forgiveness of your sins and the promise of life eternal through Him? If not I urge you today to put you faith and trust in Him! He has promised that those who come to Him in faith, he will never turn away.
If you have experienced Jesus as the “Light of the World,” I share this reminder. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told His disciples, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Mt. 4:14).
How is it that we can be light to the world? Our light is a reflection of His light. The light we have isn’t from ourselves, but from God. We have to remember that if anything is standing between us and God, we will not reflect His light.
With this as background, we are ready to witness the dawning of light in a man’s life who was blind from birth! Part two coming soon.