Jesus refers to Himself as the “light of the world” (John 8:12). He also says that you are the “light of the world” (Matt 5:14). And He promises that whoever follows Him “will not walk in darkness” but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
What does He mean? What are we to understand by this? What is the light?
The city of Ephesus was the seat of satanic practices and all manner of occult activities when Paul first visited it. To this citadel of evil and idolatry, Paul went to “give light to those who [sat] in darkness.”
When he wrote to the Christians there he referred to them as “light in the Lord” and encouraged them to "walk as children of light." This light is revealed in all goodness, righteousness, and truth. This is the light others should witness in us.
Goodness, righteousness, and truth – each of these three terms covers a different aspect of our witness.
Don’t forget Jesus encourages you to “let your light shine before others” (Matt 5:16)
Righteousness conveys legality. Psalm 119:172 defines righteousness as keeping the commandments of God, thus righteousness implies conformity to law. It indicates uprightness and a manifestation of justice. It can literally mean being right. Therefore, righteousness should be a characteristic of a Christian. He is fair and just in his dealings with others, plays by the rules and respects others' rights and possessions.
Also, in Ephesians, Paul makes mention of deceit, things done in secret, and the hidden things of darkness. "All truth" is their opposite. The character of the life of the Christian is without deceit. Nothing is hidden, underhanded, or dishonest; nothing smacks of hypocrisy or pretence. The life of those walking in the light will be open, above-board, and transparent; it has nothing to conceal and never pretends to be something it is not.
“Goodness” in the New Testament can mean either the act or the intention motivating the act. It can be gentle or sharp, but the intention of the good person is always the well-being of the recipients of his goodness. An English word that covers some aspects of the Greek word is "benevolence." This is the inclination to do good which seems to be Paul's intent.
When Jesus says He is the light of the world, He is giving us a perfect example to follow.
And He invites you to follow.
Pastor Robert Chew