Why Jesus Says It’s Fine To Light Up

This was the sunrise from my driveway today:


Seeing it, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus, who said:

“I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” (Revelation 22:16.)

Which reminded me of other passages on mornings and God, like this one:

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy. (Psalm 65:8)

Why does the light of the dawn call forth songs of joy? I think it’s because light is a physical reminder of Jesus, who said:

“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.)

Just as the sun lights up the world, Jesus is the eternal light. Darkness is not only absent, as if pushed aside by his light; it doesn’t exist for those who belong to Jesus. That’s different from what culture tells people. Some speak of a divine spark, an inner candle, or a gleam of light reaching out to those who seek it. This lyric comes to mind:

There’s a light burning in the fireplace
There’s a light, light in the darkness of everybody’s life.*

Is there a light in everybody’s life? In one sense there is, as Isaiah says of even those who are stumbling about in spiritual darkness:

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2.)

But seeing God’s light and being consumed in it so that there is no darkness are two different things.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. (John 3:19-21.)

The problem for those who try to hide in the darkness is simple: it doesn’t work.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:11-12.)

In the new creation to come, there isn’t even any darkness in which to hide in the first place:

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. (Revelation 21:23.)

Who is the Lamb who is creation’s lamp? This is Jesus.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29.)

Jesus is the source of all light, spiritually and physically. His light is not a glimmer in the distance, and it’s not something you create yourself and then he adds to it and makes it bigger.

Jesus is the light of the world, and he lights you up.


*Those lyrics are the second and third lines of a refrain from a movie musical. The fabulously illusory and nonexistent prize of 10,000 interwebz will be awarded to everyone who can name the musical and provide the missing first line without looking it up. Multiple winners will be announced.

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11 Responses to Why Jesus Says It’s Fine To Light Up

  1. Couldn’t help but think of these words of Tolkien’s:

    “Aragorn looked at the pale stars, and at the moon, now sloping behind the western hills that enclosed the valley. ‘This is a night as long as years’, he said. ‘How long will the day tarry?’
    ‘Dawn is not far off’, said Gamling, who had now climbed up beside him. ‘But dawn will not help us, I fear’
    ‘Yet dawn is ever the hope of men’, said Aragorn.”

  2. I clicked on this thinking it would be a post about smoking (my tired brain joining the dots).

  3. Leah says:

    I love this Tim! It makes me smile at Jesus. One of my favorite things to do with my kids is to arise while it is still dark and watch the sunrise. We go to our favorite nature spots and sit on blankets and pillows with our favorite snacks, as we read the Bible and listen to our favorite songs. Next time we watch the sunrise together I am going to focus our study on Jesus being the light of the world. I think I just fell deeper in love with Jesus:-)

  4. Jeannie says:

    I don’t recognize the quoted lyrics, but I (again) LOVE your title! 🙂 We sat outside watching the lunar eclipse last night; I suppose the connection to your post would be the question of whether there are times we block out that light and prevent it reaching into our own hearts or reaching other people. There are certainly times, even as Christians, that we resist letting the light shine into certain areas of our lives — truths we refuse to face, or whatever.

  5. VelvetVoice says:

    OMG that’s Rocky Horror Picture Show! There’s a light over at the Frankenstein place, there’s a li-i-i-i-ight, Great! you’re a genius at spiritualizing everything. Stick a few scriptures in there, and I got a good song for Sunday. Thanks!

    • Tim says:

      You get 10,000 interwebz, V V!

      Now you need to get that Sunday song going and come back here to post the results of your efforts.

      • VelvetVoice says:

        Will do! I just made an appointment with the Fishman tech guy to fix my recording software. I’m also researching Bob Dylan and I’m doing some of his tunes too.

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