Got a Light?

Tom Burke

October 2023
© 2023 Scriptural Study Groups.  All Rights Reserved.

I was driving through the mountains, long after midnight, still several hours from home.  But I was blessed, totally immersed in a teaching from God’s Word. So immersed, in fact, that I noticed little else but the wonderful words of the teacher.

It wasn’t until the teaching ended that I noticed something which I should have noticed much earlier: my fuel gauge was firmly resting on “E”.

My elation quickly turned to foreboding. I had not seen a house, let alone a town, for many miles. The possibility of spending the rest of the night in my car, on the side of the road, waiting for dawn, was looming larger and larger in my mind.

Then what to my wondering eyes should appear but, in the distance, a light. And as I drew closer, I saw that that light contained three letters: G‑A-S. The moment I saw that light, my attitude immediately changed. (And thanks to the fuel, I made it home before dawn.)

That light led me to help that I desperately needed. And indeed, when has the introduction of light not been of help? When has light ever harmed anyone?

Light holds a pretty prominent position in the Word of God. It is the first thing He spoke into being in Genesis 1, and He called it good.1 In the tabernacle, and later in the temple, where God was to be worshiped, He had commanded that lamps were to be lit and never extinguished, symbolizing His presence among His people.2

Of even greater significance, God speaks of Himself dwelling in the light,3 as covering Himself with light,4 and indeed being light.

Psalm 27:1 (King James Version)The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

1 John 1:5  (King James Version)This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

As suggested by the verse above, one significant quality of light is that there is no darkness in it. Not even the smallest amount. Darkness cannot abide where the light shines. The two cannot coexist. And because God is light (and only light) His works and His words are light as well, with no darkness in them.

Without question, the greatest exhibition of God’s nature ever shown in this world was the Lord Jesus Christ. It should come as no surprise that, as one who came to declare God to the world,5 one who was in the Father, and the Father in him,6 Jesus Christ should be continually referred to not simply as a light, but as the light.7

John 9:5 (King James Version)As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 

While Jesus was in the world, he was light. The Gospel of John declares what would be the response to this light in a dark world.

John 3:17–21 (King James Version)For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The light that Jesus Christ exhibited in the world was so definitive, so uncompromising, that it could not be mistaken for anything else. Thus, those who loved darkness were repelled by him. But not all choose darkness. Some, in seeing his works and hearing his words, were drawn to him, and believed.

Jesus is no longer physically present in this world. But those who have believed on him are present, and have been commissioned by him to carry out his mission. This commission would be impossible were it not for one great truth.

1 Thessalonians 5:5 (King James Version)Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Those who have believed in Jesus Christ are called children of light. This is no mere figure of speech, for God, Who is light, has fathered us. We now have His life within, and with it the ability to bring light into this world. Having been called out of darkness,8 we are now enabled, as the Apostle Paul was,9 to call others from darkness, into God’s marvelous light.

To help us in this important task, God has committed to us an invaluable tool: His Word. For like God Himself, God’s Word is light.

Psalm 119:105 (King James Version)Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.10

The introduction of light dispels darkness. With light, one can see truth clearly, and pursue it boldly. Jesus brought light with words. Paul brought light with words. We too bring light with words.

Philippians 2:15, 16a (English Standard Version)That you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,11

Holding fast to the word of life.

Please note that the above verse instructs us to hold fast to the word of life. This is not just for the benefit of others! I desperately need it also. Without it, my light can begin to fade. My life can begin looking just like the lives of those I’ve been called to rescue. It is God’s Word that keeps me holy in an unholy place.12

On that one night in the wilderness, it was light that led me out of darkness. For forty years in the wilderness, it was only God’s light that kept the children of Israel walking in a God-ordained path.13 And today, it is the light of God’s Word that leads the lost into everlasting life and leads the saved into greater and greater blessing daily.

Psalm 43:3  (New International Version)Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.


[1]  Genesis 1:3,4

[2]  Leviticus 24:1–4

[3] 1 Timothy 6:16

[4] Psalm 104:2

[5] John 1:18

[6] John 10:38

[7] John 8:12

[8] 1 Peter 2:9.  See also Ephesians 5:8

[9] Acts 26:18.

[10] See also Psalm 119:130. Proverbs 6:23

[11] An alternative translation reads, “Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (See New International Version)

[12] John 17:17.  The context of this verse is also very instructive.

[13] Exodus 13:21