In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness.”
Light is a fairly constant symbol in the Gospel of John.
1 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 came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life,a and the life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:1-8)
12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
These are only two among several other texts. Jesus fairly clearly identifies himself with light. Humanity is in darkness. This is all simple enough to understand.
Yet we have two problems. Humankind can neither stand the light nor recognize it. In John 3:19 we find that light has come into the world, but that “people love darkness.” In yesterday’s Gospel reading, we saw humankind’s inability to recognize Jesus as the Christ whose deeds testify to him.
Where are we today as individuals? Do we not come into the light because we love the darkness? Do we simply love our sin too much? Or do we not come into the light because we don’t really recognize that we are in darkness? Do we think that we see quite clearly?
Or have we recognized our darkness and step into the light by place our faith in Christ and following him? Only then can we be light to the world as Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount.