Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Think for a minute about the enormity of that statement. Later he said, “Before Abraham was born, I AM,” which every good Jew at the time knew was the name God gave himself. I AM.
Now he’s really making the Jewish leaders mad. This Jesus is nothing like they expected. He was not the Messiah they had pictured. He didn’t fit into their religion.
As I wrote that this morning it occurred to me Jesus still doesn’t fit into religion, does he? In fact, Jesus had little use for religion. How many times did he call the synagog leaders out for their hypocrisy? How often did he say their prayers and sacrifices were worthless, their faith misdirected?
Jesus did not come to make us feel good about ourselves or so we could feel powerful and worthy. He came to break us down, to force us to our knees, to recognize our helpless condition and our total need of him. Although he is the cornerstone of the church and blesses the corporate worship of his people, church attendance is not a ticket into heaven. Being a good person with good intentions is not good enough. And that doesn’t fit into some of today’s religions or beliefs.
The Light of the World, the great I AM, is not a religion. When you give your heart to him you realize the relationship you gain with Creator God is more than any list of rules or regulations. I am not advocating we stop going to church. In fact, I believe it is an important part of our walk with the Lord. But I am saying that our focus, our reason for living and serving, is not on church doctrine but on the One who is the Light of the World.
When the blind man was grilled about his healing he said something that is so simple, yet so profound. He said, I don’t know the details about my healing but this I know for sure. Once I was blind. Now I see.
If you are a Christian, you understand that. We might not be able to explain the details of our salvation or expound on the incarnation. We might not have the ability to recite church doctrine or list all of the Ten Commandments in order. But if you have asked Jesus into your heart, to forgive your sins and become Lord of your life, you can say with confidence: Once I was blind. But now I see. Once I was lost. But now I am found. I walked in darkness but now the Light of the World directs me.
Holy God, the Light of the World, the Great I AM, I thank you that you offer a relationship with you to any of us who call on the name of your precious Son, Jesus. May we not get so caught up in religious activity that we neglect that beautifully intimate, personal relationship with you. Thank you opening our blind eyes and lighting our way when we give ourselves to you. You are everything we need and more.