Brookwood Church - Love God, Love People

Pathway



Pathway

Perry Duggar |

Jesus illuminates a pathway for our lives as the "Light of the World."








  1. Introduction: Continue our series which asks, “Who is Jesus?”
  2. Jesus answers the question Himself with 7 “I Am’s” from the book of John.
  3. These names are word pictures or metaphors that Jesus used to identify Himself.
  4. “I Am” is the English translation of the personal name of God (YHWH = “Yahweh”) spoken by God to Moses from the burning bush at Exodus 3:14.
  5. When Jesus said, “I am,” a sacred word that Jews did not speak, He was declaring that He is fully divine, equal to God.
  6. The images describe the person, character and work of Jesus, the Messiah.
  7. Theme verse for today: John 8:12 (NLT) [also John 9:5]—Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. ...”
  8. The light of Jesus illuminates a Pathway for our lives.
  9. The Jews expected the Messiah to come as a light, as the prophet Isaiah spoke 700 years before the birth of Jesus.
  10. [Screen] Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)—The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. [Mt.4:16]

 

  1. Background (Isaiah 9:2; John 7-9)
  2. In 1st century Israel, light was limited at night since there was no electricity, generators, batteries, gas, or kerosene lamps.
  3. People depended on wood or hemp torches, candles or small olive oil lamps which provided limited illumination. [Show lamp.]
  4. The setting for John 7-8, when Jesus identified Himself as the Light of the World, is the celebration of the annual Feast of Tabernacles (Festival of Shelters or Booths), which was observed for eight days in the 7th month of their calendar (mid-September to mid-October; Lev.23:33-44; Dt.16:13-14) as a joyful thanksgiving for the harvest, but also a celebration of God’s care for their ancestors as they wandered in the wilderness and lived in temporary dwellings.
  5. During the week of the festival, many guests filled the city of Jerusalem and engaged in singing, dancing and torch-led parades.
  6. Many people stayed in shelters made of tree branches on the roofs of their houses.
  7. At night, priests would light four large candelabra in the women’s court of the temple, reminding Jews of the pillar of fire by which God led Israel at night and the pillar of cloud by which He led them during the day and hovered over the tabernacle when they camped. (Ex.13:21-22; 40:34-38; Num.14:14)
  8. As the priests extinguished the candelabra on the last night of the festival, Jesus identified Himself as the Light of the World, not to condemn their tradition, but asserting that their tradition, which could not provide spiritual life, should point them to Him to receive eternal life if they would trust in Him! (Mark 7:1-23)
  9. Let’s consider some functions of the Light of the World.

 

  1. The Light of the World...

 

  1. #1 - Exposes evil. (John 3:19-20; C/R: Daniel 2:22; Luke 11:34-35; Ephesians 5:12-14)
  2. [Screen] John 3:19–20 (NLT)—Jesus: 19 “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. 20 All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.” [Dan. 2:22; Eph. 5:12-14]
  3. Not only does Jesus, the light of the world expose evil, He also defines it.
  4. God determines what is sin,… not our culture, not the media, not politicians, certainly not celebrities, not even our own opinions. [Luke 11:34-35]
  5. One reason why popular culture is hostile toward the Christian faith is that we accept the Bible’s standard of right and wrong, of morality and immorality.
  6. We don’t have the authority to compromise the Bible’s teaching on the matter of sin; we have an obligation to obey and to communicate God’s standards.
  7. When we are living in the dark (whether aware of it or not) we cannot see clearly.
  8. EX.: Couldn’t see roaches in rental house in Statesboro in the dark until the light was switched on; the light of Christ, the Spirit revealed true state of my life.
  9. Exposure of evil in our lives feels awful (so it is not surprising that we would avoid the light), but this conviction makes us aware of our helplessness to defeat sin and causes us to turn to Jesus for forgiveness.
  10. APP.: What is Jesus’ light revealing about me?

 

The Light of the World...

  1. #2 - Enlightens understanding. (2 Corinthians 4:4,6; C/R: Luke 1:78-79; 2:28-32; John 9:39-41)
  2. [Screen] 2 Corinthians 4:4-6 (NLT)—Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. …

For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. [Luke 1:78-79; 2:28-32]

  1. Satan attempts to keep us in the dark about Jesus—but I don’t think that means he causes us to be averse to every expression of faith, or even of Jesus.
  2. Satan is quite comfortable with us having some beliefs that we call faith as long as they are based on personal opinions or societal preference and are not a correct, biblical understanding of what faith requires or God expects.
  3. We live in a so-called “enlightened” age that is really darkness which blinds the minds and controls the hearts of people who have never trusted Christ or who claim to know Him but show they don’t because they don’t follow Him.
  4. Our unbelief is based on ignorance of truth, though few of us admit we are ignorant, especially about God; we are deluded by Satan and self, so our misunderstanding must be revealed to us!
  5. In order to believe, we must be enlightened, because spiritual truth is revealed.
  6. It is revealed through a personal encounter with Jesus, which can occur through an experience with the Holy Spirit—directly, or by the Word in bible study or a Sunday message, or from reading the Bible yourself.
  7. APP.: Have you been enlightened by the Holy Spirit so that you see Jesus Christ and yourself accurately?

 

The Light of the World...  

  1. #3 - Enables salvation. (John 12:46; C/R: John 1:4-13; 17:3; Colossians 1:12-14)
  2. [Screen] John 12:46 (NLT)—Jesus: “I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.”
  3. Jesus came as a light to penetrate the darkness of our spiritual ignorance.
  4. [Screen] John 1:4–5 (NLT)—The Word gave life to everything that was created, and His life brought light to everyone. [Truth, moral purity, Presence of God expressed through Good News!] The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
  5. The light, the truth, of Jesus cannot be overcome or contained by darkness.
  6. We sometimes envision a struggle between light and darkness; but light always drives out darkness.
  7. [Screen] John 1:10-11 (NLT)—10 He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. 11 He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him.
  8. Even Jesus’ working of miracles did not convince Jews that He was the Messiah because that understanding is revealed through supernatural illumination.
  9. [Screen] John 1:12-13 (NLT)—12 But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. [Col.1:12-14]
  10. Physical life can only create physical life; spiritual life is created in an encounter with the Holy Spirit which provides both spiritual life and spiritual insight.
  11. APP.: Do you believe? Have you been born again by the Spirit of God?

 

The Light of the World...

  1. #4 - Expresses Direction. (John 8:12; C/R: Psalm 119:105; Ephesians 5:8-13; Philippians 2:15)
  2. [Screen] John 8:12 (NLT)—Jesus… said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” [Eph.5:8-11; Phil.2:15; 1 Thes.5:5]
  3. The Light of the World leads us in the way we should go; He shines on the pathway we should always follow.
  4. Sometimes Jesus leads us away from danger, pointing out what to avoid (like a lighthouse).
  5. When we are confused, wondering what is right to do, stop reasoning and rationalizing, cease going through different scenarios, don’t do what feels right, or will make you happy, don’t ask people who will agree with you, follow Jesus!
  6. He is the only reliable source of what direction is right or what behavior is wrong.
  7. [Screen] Psalm 119:105 (NLT)—Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
  8. If your life is marked by confusion and frustration, by uncertainty and insecurity about what decision you should make, what path you should take, follow Jesus.
  9. Listen to what He says to you by His Spirit—speaking directly, through reading or hearing His Word, or by listening to mature believers.
  10. APP.: Are you following the Pathway that Jesus’ light is shining on for you?
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