Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness…
In a physical sense this is the sun, and with it Jesus may be compared. The sun is —
I. ONE, and throughout the extent of our planetary system, it is the one source of light. Towards it each planet, with its satellites, turns every portion of its surface to receive light. There is but one Saviour — without whom every soul is wrapt in darkness, but from whom all believers obtain all blessings.
II. THE BRIGHTEST LUMINARY. In His splendour the moon and stars pale. Jesus in all things has the preeminence, and is "the chiefest among ten thousand." The man of the world walks by taper light; the Christian by sunlight. What are 10,000,000 tapers to the sun?
III. OF PRODIGIOUS MAGNITUDE. Our earth is 25,000 miles round and has a surface of 200,000,000 square miles. But what is it to the sun? about one to a million! The highest mountain bears the proportion to the whole earth of a grain of sand to an 18-in. globe; man less, animals still less. What then the tiny flower and the insects that float in the sunbeam. Yes the light that streams 97,000,000 miles gladdens and enlightens all. But greater still is its Creator — Jesus — who is rich in mercy to all who call upon Him.
IV. EMINENTLY BEAUTIFUL AND BEAUTIFYING. Pure light is proved to consist of seven opposite colours — so in Jesus there is a combination of all excellences. He is "all fair." The beauties of the landscape are derived from the sun; the variety of hues that meet the eye are painted by Him. So saints are beautiful through the comeliness that Jesus puts upon them, varying as it does in character, differing as it does in position.
V. MOST BENEFICIAL. Light, heat, and fertility flow from his beams. Blot out the sun and our earth would be destroyed. Without him what would be the blessing of sight? So without Jesus we should have no spiritual knowledge, no happy love to God or man, no fruitfulness. Conclusion —
1. We may gather some thoughts of Jesus from the laws of light, or the modes of its operation. Is the sun an unexhaustible fountain of light? In Jesus there is an infinite fulness of grace. Does the light travel with amazing rapidity? How swiftly do the thoughts of Jesus flow out towards His servants — "Before they call I will answer." Does light travel only in straight lines? Jesus is a holy Saviour; His eyes look straight before Him in the prosecution of His Father's purposes. Is the angle of reflection always equal to the angle of incidence? The Christian knows that the light he receives from heaven, he will find it his honour and happiness to reflect on earth. Is light a radiant force, and does a small approximation to its centre bring an increase of influence? So in proportion to our nearness to Christ will be our realization of His grace.
2. Reflect on what is popularly called the rising of the sun. See how he climbs higher and higher. Even so was it with Jesus. Mark the first streak of light in the first promise — broader streaks in those succeeding to Abraham, Jacob — then the types and ceremonies; then the great prophecies, until Christ could proclaim the text. So with the preaching of Christ to nations, and His reception by individuals.
(J. M. Randall.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.