By WALTER ALBRITTON
Was it not astonishing that a man would declare himself to be “the light of the world”? According to the Bible, Jesus did that. So we are left with a decision. Either Jesus was delusional or he was telling the truth.
A man named John believed Jesus. In the years since Jesus walked the dusty roads of Galilee, untold millions have agreed with John. Yet every generation must decide for itself.
Was John himself delusional? He even believed Jesus was telling the truth when he said that he and God, His Father, were one. What Jesus said about His oneness with the Father is stunning. Believe in me, he said, and you believe in God. Get to know me and you know God. See me and you have seen my Father. Reject me and you reject God. Receive me and you can walk in light. Deny me and you remain in darkness. His words were not vague; they were crystal clear.
No less clear was his stated reason for coming into the world — so that no one would have to remain in darkness. Jesus was light, “the” light. Follow me, he said, and you never have to walk in darkness again.
The Pharisees thought this was blasphemy. They despised Jesus and decided to kill him. In the face of their hatred, Jesus did not cut and run. He continued to proclaim what he believed about himself even though his mission would take him to a cross.
His mission becomes significant when you consider the terrible nature of darkness. Darkness makes it impossible to know where you are going. Darkness is frightening. Imagination runs wild with thoughts of “monsters” all around us.
Spiritual darkness is worse. It blinds us to the truth. The Pharisees were living in darkness without realizing it. They could not “see” the Truth even when he stood before their eyes.
In every generation, each of us must decide what to believe about Jesus. Was He delusional or not? Was John right or was his Gospel just another “story” about a man named Jesus?
I decided to agree with John. When I did, I had a sense of walking out of the darkness of sin, guilt and confusion into the light of God’s sweet mercy. I felt my heart melted by the forgiveness of my sins. I was free from my past. I began to “see” why I was born and began rejoicing in the light of God’s love for me. Embracing Jesus as the light of my life changed everything for me. I was no longer blind. I could see.
What happened to me next is what happens to everyone who chooses to believe that Jesus is the light of the world. I felt compelled to share this good news with others. Millions now lost in the darkness of ignorance and superstition need to know that by trusting Jesus they can walk into the light of his love.
As long as even one person remains lost in spiritual darkness, those of us who believe have a compelling mission — to share the good news that darkness is no match for Jesus. The fight is over. Jesus won. He is the Light of the world. Hallelujah!