The Light of Christmas

Bible Book: John  1 : 1-9
Subject: Christmas; Jesus, The Light; Light of the World; Birth of Jesus

The Light of Christmas

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

John 1:1-9 - “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 n Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

Christmas is a time of bright lights and celebration for Christians all over the world, and it all began when the Light of the World was delivered by Mary with Joseph by her side in Bethlehem just over 2,000 years ago.

Even the birth of Christ was filled with light. We read in Matthew 2:9-11 about the Wise Men and the brilliant, shining star they observed, “When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.”

In fact, we can go back to the Old Testament and read about the promised Light. Isaiah 9:2 contains this prophecy, “The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined.”

As we celebrate this month of December and the birth of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, I want to share a few things about the light, and why the scripture uses this term to describe the Redeemer, the Savior, The Lord of glory who came to redeem us from our sins.

I. The Light Problem

The night when the star appeared over Bethlehem, the world lay in great darkness; however, you can be sure that darkness is still a problem in this world. The Light (Jesus) came into the world but the world did not perceive it or receive it. The world has a tremendous “Light” problem. The Darkness of sin clouds the minds and hearts of people in every generation.

There are several kinds of darkness in this world.

A. Moral Darkness

We look at our world today and we see the horrible things people do to one another. Shootings have become common place in our day. When I was a boy growing up in the North Carolina, every young boy had a gun, and many had multiple guns. Shotguns, rifles and pistols were commonplace. Some guys drove around with a shotgun fixed to a rack on the back glass of their trucks. Yet, I don’t remember a single person every being shot in those days. Not one! You see, the problem is not the gun; the problem is in the darkened hearts of people in the world today.

When Jesus came into the world, darkness was everywhere in the hearts of people. Rome used awful brutality to control every part of ancient society. The government in Jerusalem was horrendous. When the king sent the Wise Men to search for Jesus, he did it so that he might find the baby and kill him. That one part of this story tells you how dark the moral world was then – and, believe me, it is no better today.

Immoral behavior is no worse now and it is no better either. We are a sinful people and that is exactly why the Light of the World came – He came to deliver us from our own demons – our own moral darkness.

But, note also the …

B. Mind Darkness

You read the story of Jesus’ birth and right in the middle of the story is the mention of Wise Men. Interesting, isn’t it? Today there are many people who are consider wise who nevertheless have no room for Jesus. Actually, the mind of man is, in its natural state, against God and not for Him.

Listen to Proverbs 3:7:

“Do not be wise in your own eyes;

Fear the Lord and depart from evil.”

Just as in the days of old, people tend to think they are a lot smarter than they really are. Real wisdom comes from fearing (respecting) God and seeking to live in the way He directs.

Our text from John 1 today tells us that the Light came into the world, but the world did not comprehend it. He came to His own and they did not receive Him. Sadly, people all over the world continue to reject the Light of the World, Jesus the Lord. It is because their minds are in darkness and they refuse to allow the Light, Jesus Christ, to enter.

Now, think with me about …

II. The Light Purpose

Note in verse 4 of John 1 that the Light that came into the world arrived to bring Life. “In Him was life…” The purpose of the arrival of Jesus was to give people life and that more abundantly. We read in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

People think of abundance as being wrapped up in the things they possess, but Jesus came to reveal to us that abundance is found in knowing the divine purpose for your existence. One of the greatest questions in history has been this: Why am I here on this earth?

Listen carefully.

God Made You.
Sin Marred You.
Jesus Makes You New.

Christ came to give you the life sin has stolen from you. He came to bring light into the dark world in which we all live because of sin and the sorrow it brings.

Think about what John 10:10 said:

Jesus came to give you Life

Jesus came to give you Life more Abundantly

A. Life in Jesus

First, we need to know that we are dead in our sins. When Paul wrote to the Christians in Ephesus, he reminded them that they were once DEAD in their sins. While in sin, and without the Savior, we are dead toward God and cannot possibly know what real life is about. Jesus came with the purpose to give life to those who turned to Him in repentance and faith. Romans 6:23 states, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You see, sins brought death, but Jesus came to bring life. Again, our text from John tells us that in Jesus was life! We can say that outside Jesus there is death.

B. Life Abundant in Jesus

Secondly, Jesus came not only to forgive us of sin and not simply to give us eternal life, but He came also to give us life more abundant. What does that mean? It means that He came to give purpose to our lives and meaning to our existence. He didn’t come merely to get us to heaven, but He came also to place some heaven into us in the here and now.

Living for Jesus is the best life there is. Christians know what I’m talking about, for they are living it each day. I’m not saying that the Christian life is free of trouble and problems – certainly we live in the same world as those who reject Jesus. Yet, the Christian knows that Romans 8:28 is true. God does work all things together for good I the lives of those who love Him and seek to live for His purpose. Jesus can and does give meaning and purpose, even in the toughest of times.

To live without Christ, is to endure this difficult world and go out into a domain even worse. To know Jesus, is to find purpose in all things and to go out into a world where there are no tears, no separation, no mourning, and no death. No wonder the Bible refers to Jesus as the Light of the World. He is the Light of this world and the eternal Light in the world to come.

So, Christmas is not simply a time to create some bright lights in our houses and yards during the cold, dark winter months. Christmas is about lighting the hearts and minds of the cold, dark world in which we live.

Now, think of one more thing …

III. The Light Person

The Bible says that “HE” came. The Light of the World is a person and not simply a moral standard. Being a Christian is not about turning over a new leaf, it is about discovering the new Life and Light in Jesus.

Jesus came because He wanted to meet with us, talk to us, comfort us, forgive us and live in us. Knowing Jesus means knowing Jesus as a person and not just discovering some abstract religious idea and a higher moral standard.

Every Christmas the lights I see reminds of the Person who is the Light of the world. Christmas is about the Person who came from heaven to bring us the gift of eternal life.

We share gifts at Christmas, and it can be a difficult time for some people. Money is short, but parents desire to give the best gifts to their children. Relatives and friends take joy in sharing something personal as a gift at Christmastime. People often go in debt in order to buy that gift they know is desired or deserved by someone they love.

Let me remind you that no gift ever given cost as much and required so great a sacrifice as the gift of God in Christ. His birth was such a beautiful event, and our celebration of it is such a bright annual event. However, let us not forget that Jesus was born to die. He came to His own, we are told in scripture, but His own received Him not. He was crucified outside Jerusalem on a cruel cross for our sins. He took our place. That is the greatest gift of all.

Conclusion

A man was asked by a friend, "How do you know that you are saved?" The Christian answered with a smile, "Because I was there when it happened." If you've never had that experience, today is your day to receive the Gift of God - eternal life through Jesus Christ. If you've never trusted Jesus as your Savior, now is the time to come to Him. He loves you so much. He came to this sin-cursed earth for you. He lived without a place to lay his head. He was hated and eventually hunted down by authorities so that they might put Him to death. He didn’t have to die. He had the power to destroy them, but He allowed them to place Him on the cross for your sins and mine. Come to Him today. It is the greatest gift you will ever receive, for it is an eternal gift.

Also, let those of us who are saved come in fresh joy to make a new commitment to One who saved us. Like the Wise Men who followed His Light – His Star – come this morning and renew your commitment to the Light of the world.