The Light that Shines from Jesus

It can change us utterly.

That You May Know (4)

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: hat the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling… Ephesians 1.15-18

The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalm 119.130

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5.39

The Light that enlightens
We mentioned that Jesus is the Light Who enlightens the eyes of our heart, bathing our affections with the warmth of God’s grace and nurturing them for truth. I don’t want to rush by this point, because it is the key to our participating in the kind of faith that fills our world with the reality of Jesus Himself.

Jesus is the Light of the world (Jn. 8.12). The light He shines into our hearts emanates from His very being – holy, righteous, good, eternal, and true – and liberates us from the fears that stalk people who live in the darkness – principally, the fear of death (Heb. 2.15). The light Jesus shines into our souls reaches us in holy spiritual photons of grace and truth; and it is life-giving, transforming us little by little into His likeness, and empowering us to live as He did, restoring the world to the Light of life (2 Cor. 5.17-21). The light from Jesus illuminates the dark corners and untidy conditions of our soul, and casts rays of  holy transformation, showing us how to order our affections with those that beat within His own heart.

The light which Jesus, the Light of the world, shines into the eyes of our hearts comes from behind the veil that separates the visible and invisible worlds. Thus, it is not constrained by the possibilities of material existence. Rather, it glows and gleams with possibilities for life, newness, and power that are of the same sort and magnitude that healed the sick, raised the dead, stilled the waves, brought Jesus to life again, and upholds the universe and all things in it (Heb. 1.3). We’ll know that our affections have been reached by that light as we begin to love, desire, long for, and incline to the Kingdom which is not of this world, the Kingdom which brings power to make all things new, the Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, which, like a growing stone, is even now increasing and expanding to fill all the earth with Jesus Christ and the knowledge of God’s glory (Dan. 2.44, 45; Hab. 2.14; Rom. 14.17, 18; 1 Cor. 4.20).

As the light from the Light of the world penetrates the eyes of your heart and begins to transform your affections, the thoughts of your mind will brighten with heavenly prospects and plans, and the priorities of your conscience will solidify in joyous resolve for seeking the Kingdom and righteousness of God in all things. And you will know then the incomparable joy of Jesus, alive and growing in you.

Let us seek the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that He might overcome our sluggardliness and indifference, open the eyes of our heart, and let the Light of the world shine radiantly in all the rooms of our soul.

Searching for the Light
The light which reaches us from the Light of the world comes to us through the medium of revelation. The Spirit of God, using divine revelation, gives life (Jn. 6.63), life so effervescent with spiritual fruit that it flows out from us like living waters, to refresh, renew, and restore everything in our lives (Jn. 7.37-39). The Spirit brings us to the revelation of God, making us willing to search for the Light (Phil. 2.13). The Spirit opens the apertures of our heart to allow the Light of the world to shine through them, and to imprint our souls with the light that comes from Jesus. The Spirit of God sets us free from whatever holds us back from loving, desiring, delighting in, and embracing the light from Jesus, and then He cause the light of revelation to penetrate and bathe us richly, so that the image of Jesus, conveyed in revelation’s light, begins to shape our affections, thoughts, and priorities into His likeness as well (2 Cor. 3.12-18).

But this does not just happen. Like the Bereans of old, we must take up the discipline of searching for the light that comes from Jesus, daily turning to His revelation with singleness of purpose, that the Light of the world might break through into our hearts (Acts 17.11).

All of Scripture is about Jesus, as He Himself insisted. In our reading of Scripture, we must not be content to delight in theological ideas or fleeting spiritual insights only. These are good and necessary. But we must, like those ancient Greeks, say to the Spirit, as He leads us into the revelation of God, “Sir, we would see Jesus.” We would see Him as the Light of the world. We would see Him healing and loving and proclaiming the Kingdom of God. We would see Him in the magnanimity, humility, and unfathomable love of His suffering. We would see Him on His throne in glory. We would see Him riding forth, conquering and to conquer. We would see Him putting His enemies under His feet. We would be dazzled by His radiance. We would see Him in all His majesty, brilliance, strength, peace, wisdom, holiness, joy, and victory. We would see Jesus!

We must search the revelation of God – both in His Word and in His world – to gain even the slightest glimpse of the Light of the world. For when we do, then light from Him will break through the apertures of our soul and press some aspect of His incomparably glorious image on the depths of our being.

If you are content merely to read your Bible – even to read it daily – without also searching through prayer, meditation, and waiting on the Lord for the Light of the world that shines on every page of that revelation, then you should not be surprised if your heart does not delight in Jesus. You should not be surprised that the Christian life you lead does not make each day of your life an adventure of following Jesus onto the waves and into the darkness as a light- and joy-bringer for our lost world.

But if you will search the Scriptures, and if you will pay more attention to the revelation of the Light of the world in the world around you, then the Spirit will open the eyes of your heart and then you will truly begin to know.

Know what?

Not everything we can know is of equal value. We understand that. In fact, everyone, in making their way in life, sorts through the many things that can be known, to gain the knowledge of those we consider to be most important for us – how to make friends, make a living, make a family, make a success of our lives. We leave behind or set aside far more knowledge than we will ever gain in life.

But there is some knowledge, that acquisition of which is the privilege of a chosen few, but which, as it is gained, can bring meaning, purpose, direction, righteousness, peace, and joy to life that never fades, but only increases daily.

Wouldn’t you like to have more of that knowledge? Paul says the Spirit of wisdom and revelation can lead us into that knowledge, as He opens the eyes of our heart for the light from Jesus to shine in. And what is it that we shall then know? The hope of your calling. The riches and glory of your inheritance. The power that raised Jesus from the dead.

That’s what Paul says we can know.

For reflection
1. What did Jesus mean by saying He is the Light of the world?

2. How is the light He shines in us like the light of the sun? How is it different?

3. What does searching the Scriptures – and all the revelation of God – require of you?

Next steps – Transformation: What can you do to improve how you search God’s revelation, that you might see Jesus?

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore