I am the Light of the World
In the Gospel of John, we see Jesus Christ spoken of as the light of men; the true light; the light of life and the light of the world. “In him was life; and that life was the light of men.” (John 1: 4), “There was the true light, the light which gives light to every man, coming into the world.” (John 1: 9) “I am the Light of the world. The one following Me will in no way walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8: 12), “When I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9: 5).
Taken together, all these passages have profound meaning and consequence. Essentially, John is telling us that everything is relative to Jesus Christ. Therefore, all true knowledge, justice, moral action and authentic living can only be properly defined in relation to Jesus Christ. He is the ‘Rosetta Stone’ by which we can decipher the language of everything from physics and biology; to faith and theology. As T.F. Torrance put it, “Jesus Christ is the ground and grammar all true theology.” By this he is saying that Jesus Christ is the very basis of reason and that he also the sets the rules for how we can speak about God, and therefore all of creation.
If, on the other hand, we try to view the world through the lens of our own self-referential incoherence and limited perception, then we are bound to end up in darkness. Just see what is happening in Western cultures around the world as they intentionally detach themselves from the Judaeo-Christian moorings that have been inherent in their formation. Without a ‘true-north’, it is impossible to determine right from wrong. Eventually the blind guides of our culture will lead us into a ditch (Matthew 15: 14).
In the words of Jesus, “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. If your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6: 22-23). Obviously, Jesus is speaking metaphorically here to say that if our ‘eyes,’ i.e. our conscience, perception and moral discernment is not lit up by the extrinsic truth found in only in Jesus Christ, then we will be self-deceived and utterly darkened.
The only way an ‘eye’ is able to see anything is by light. Eyes cannot discern anything by themselves. They are dependant on the light, just as we are on the true light – Jesus Christ.