Jesus Christ: The Light of the World :: By Dr. Donald Whitchard


John 8:12, John 8:20, Isaiah 9:1-6, Ephesians 5:11, Isaiah 49:6, Philippians 2:15-16

Summary: John’s Gospel presents seven distinctive claims by the Lord Jesus Christ (John 6:48, 8:12, 10:9, 11, 25, 14:6, 15:5). His claims reveal a great deal about our world, our lives, and what he has to offer us. This message will center on His claim of being “the Light of the World.”

The Lord Jesus made it clear to His disciples and those who encountered Him throughout His three and a half years of ministry that He was no mere healer, teacher, sage, or model of behavior we could try to emulate. Each of the four Gospels present Him as God Incarnate, the fulfillment of prophecy, and the Promised Messiah who would deliver His people Israel. He would deliver them, not from the tyranny of Rome or the perversions of puppet rulers such as Herod Antipas, but from a bondage far worse with eternal consequences, namely the bondage in which we all find ourselves, that of sin and the certainty of punishment and judgment that comes with it.

Scripture shows us that our sins have brought about the chaos in the world and within our souls that we arrogantly and maliciously place the blame on God when our plans and schemes do not work out.

We have no one to blame but ourselves. Even if the devil had not tempted Eve in the Garden and Adam with her, the fact is that our human nature was given a free will either to obey God or not. In our inevitable rebellion against His laws and guidance, along with our deliberate malicious rejection of His love, mercy, and grace, we decided that we knew better than the Creator how life and the world should operate. The pride, egotism, and arrogance that possessed Lucifer to rebel and end up being thrown out of heaven (Isaiah 14:7-12) is our inheritance as well. And it is those same emotions that blind us to the obvious fact that we cannot get ourselves out of this spiritual quagmire in our own strength nor by our own limited intellect and devices (Romans 3:10-18, 23).

God, being the Holy Being that He is, will not tolerate sin nor wickedness in His presence and will not allow us to enter His heaven in our present condition. Our deviant, malevolent nature would stain and mar the beauty of heaven. And worse, our pride would be on eternal display if we were able to get there by some plan or idea hatched in our sinful state apart from the merciful and benevolent act of God on our behalf (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Here is where the Lord Jesus shows Himself as the Light (John 8:12) in terms of redeeming us from the dark hearts and dead souls we possess (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 26:23; Jeremiah 17:9; 1 John 3:20). His claim is made in the prologue to John’s Gospel (1:4-9) and by Himself on numerous occasions (John 9:5, 12:35, 46), indicating that He is THE Light, not A light as if He were just another religious figure or mystic guru. He provides the true and living way (John 14:6) to His fallen creation as the Source of life (8:12), with abundance (John 10:10, 14:27, 15:10-11) as well as eternal life through His death on the cross for our sins, His burial, and resurrection (11:25, 17:2).

His Light was provided to His people Israel as mentioned, but also for the other nations as well. This was foretold by the prophets (Isaiah 49:6, 60:1-3) and proclaimed by the apostles, who were eyewitnesses of His resurrection and commissioned to present the Gospel to the nations (Matthew 18:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8-11), letting everyone know that salvation, mercy, and grace was available to all who trusted in Jesus (John 12:46).

When we place our faith in Christ for salvation, it also means that we become His disciples, or learners. He has full ownership over us as our Lord (Matthew 10:34-39; Luke 14:25-33). In turn, we are to obey Him, keep His commandments, and grow in our faith by the study of the Word (Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:15) through prayer or conversing with the LORD daily (Matthew 6:5-15), being part of a fellowship of like-minded believers (Hebrews 10:25), and supporting one another as brethren.

We are to keep ourselves above the temptations of the flesh, to live in a manner that glorifies Christ, and to be used of the Holy Spirit to draw others to Him by the conduct of our lives and manners. We are to walk in the Light as He is in the Light (1 John 1:7), and when we sin, we are to admit it before the Father, ask others around us for forgiveness, take responsibility for those sins we commit, and be assured that Jesus is our Advocate, interceding on our behalf before the Father (Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2).

Living a life in the Light is not going to be easy in this present world, and the Lord Jesus made that clear to all who would follow Him. But He is with us at all times, will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5), will always keep us in His hands (John 10:28-30), will always call us to come to Him for rest and comfort (Matthew 11:28-30), and will return one day to take us home to be with Him forever (John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10). We will return to this world with Him where He will end evil, punish the wicked, and create a new heaven and earth free from sin, disease, death, and tears, and we will be part of the eternal kingdom (Revelation 19:11-21; 20:11-15, 21:1-7).

The Light of Jesus Christ is available today for those of you reading this message who are weary of the darkness of this wicked world and your own wickedness as well. He offers the Light that will never be extinguished or dimmed. All you have to do is ask Him to give you that light, free you from your sins, and to follow Him as Lord and Savior from this day onward (Romans 10:9-10; 2 Corinthians 6:2). Avoid the eternal darkness of judgment that awaits all who reject the only light that He will ever provide.


Donald was born and reared in the authentic “Cajun Country” of southern Louisiana. He is a graduate of Louisiana College (B.A. in History Education/ Biblical Studies, 1984), New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div. In Christian Education, 1994) and Andersonville Baptist Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, Biblical Exposition, 2000). He has been in the Gospel ministry since 1986, serving as an evangelist, interim and supply pastor, hospital and rescue mission chaplain, high school and college teacher, and pastor in churches in Louisiana and Oklahoma.

In 2018 he began to devote his time to the rich field of internet and social media evangelism and outreach. In 2021 he became a member of the Oklahoma Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists, using his skills as a writer to contribute articles and sermons to websites such as Rapture Ready, Sermon Central, and Inspirational Christian Blogs. He also writes Bible studies and curricula for churches in southeast and central Asia and Africa, the locations of which are anonymous.

He can be contacted at: for inquiries, information, and speaking/preaching engagements. His website is: . A copy of his resume is also available upon request.