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August 1, 2014

'A sun which never sets'

"I am the light of the world" (John 8:12)

Here is a universal claim. If you believe it and follow that light, you will live for ever! Jesus would have been standing in the light of several great golden candelabra when he made this awesome claim at Jerusalem's Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:37). The lamps reminded the people of the pillars of light that led them in their desert wanderings.

Now here was Jesus' claim - unique, universal and ultimate! He was not claiming to be one of many lights that have guided humanity, but THE Light; not simply the light and guide of Judaism, but that of the world; not simply one more light, but original, unborrowed Light in the absolute sense. John had stated this at the start of his Gospel - 'The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world' (John 1:9). That is, no one who turns to Jesus - irrespective of culture or religious background - will remain in spiritual darkness!

Once recognise Christ as The Light - and we are changed for ever. It can happen anywhere. A musician I know came to this great realisation in the middle of a ballroom dance floor; she is now a missionary in Africa! An army soldier could find nowhere to kneel undisturbed in his surrender to Christ - except in the barracks bathroom. A hundred and fifty years ago the Rev William Haslam 'felt a wonderful light' during one of his own sermons - and was converted in his own pulpit!

As Augustine put it sixteen centuries ago, "The Lord Jesus is a sun which never sets."