Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
1 John 2:7-11
Walk in the Light
Jesus once said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). What did he mean by that? Did Jesus mean he had special LED skin pigment? Or did he use the term “light” like the philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, who said the truth made them enlightened? In other words, is he the light of the world because of what he knew in his head?
In the reading above, John explains what Jesus meant. Jesus is the Light of the world because he took God’s ancient command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), and made it new by living it. He loved his neighbor so much that he gave up his life to pay for their sins, including yours and mine. John says his act of love brought light into our dark world.
Now John turns to us, applying this truth to our hearts. He says if we claim to be in Jesus’ light but don’t love our brother or sister, then we are mistaken. On the other hand, when we love our brother or sister, we show we are genuinely enlightened by Jesus. In other words, to be in the light as Jesus is in the light does not mean we glow or even that we have some kind of special knowledge. It simply means we live a life of love. Or as John puts it, “We love because (Jesus) first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Jesus, you are the light of the world. Let your light of love shine in my heart. Amen.
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