The Light Of The World: Christmas Series Part 7 of 7.

Matthew 4:12-16

“Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee. And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.’”

Image result for 400 years of silence

As you saw in part 1, 400 years before Jesus was born, God was silent. There was no word from Him, no prophets of God, nothing.  Then suddenly, quietly, everything changed!  A tiny, helpless little baby was born to a poor family in Bethlehem.  When this child was grown, He would bring light and hope into a dark world where both were very, very far away.

The Light Of The World.
In the beginning, the very first words God spoke were to create light: “Light be,” He said. Though there was no sun, moon, or stars, yet there was light: And that light was the beloved Son of the Father.
When He was born to the young couple in Bethlehem, He came into a very dark world. At the end of His earthly life, He world change EVERYTHING.
Jesus clearly told us in John, chapter 8, verse 12, “I am the light of the world.”  “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life… The only way to see our way in this dark world is to have that eternal light inside us through Jesus.

(Hanukkah Sameach:  Happy Hanukkah!)

The Festival Of Lights:  Chanukkah.

I find it very interesting that Chanukkah, the Festival of Lights, just happens to be celebrated at this time of year. Now, we know that Jesus could not have been born in December. The sheep are no longer in the high country because it is too cold at that time of year. But, if you read part 1 of this series, you know that it’s most likely that He was born in September during the Feast of Tabernacles, “Succot.’
If you do the math it becomes clear that Jesus was most likely conceived in Mary’s womb in December. Though He was actually born in September, celebrating Christmas in December is not so far off base after all. 🥰
Getting back to Chanukkah, even though the event it commemorates is not recorded in scripture, it’s nice to know that God never forgot His people. Though He was silent, just as in the book of Esther where He hid His face, yet He was actively working behind the scenes in favor of Israel.
(For more on the amazing story of Esther, you may follow the link below to a series about her:
The Miracle Of The Oil.
During this 400 years of silence, the people were ruled, or should I say, “Oppressed,” by the Greeks.  These detestable people actually desecrated the Jewish Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar!  DISGUSTING! 😡 They even forced them to worship idols, forbid the reading of the Torah, and they were forbidden to follow it’s laws.
But God delivered His people!  A priest named, “Mattityahu,” and his sons led a small group of men against an overwhelming number of the Syrian/Greek army, 25,000 strong. It was during the re-dedication of the 2nd Temple that this miracle occurred.
You see, the priests discovered that there was only one bottle of oil (that had not been desecrated by the Greeks) to light the Menorrah.  That’s enough for only one day! 🕎 😮 Even so, the oil lasted for eight days, giving the priests the time they needed to prepare and sanctify more oil for temple use. Awesome! ♥️ 

Jesus is The Light of the world!
God has a lot to say about light in His word.  After all, as you know, His first words were spoken to bring light into the world. You can also see it so clearly in the Tabernacle of ancient Israel. The entire structure is actually a picture of Jesus.  We can learn much about The Light of the world by studying it.
(For more on the topic of the Tabernacle and its meaning, you may follow the link below to an entire series on that topic:

#1. Natural Light.

Biblically speaking, there are three kinds of light.  In the picture above, the illumination of the outer court of the tabernacle (obviously) comes from the sun. At night, light emanates from the moon and the stars. This is commonly called, “Natural light.”  Most people, like your unsaved friends and colleagues, live only in this kind of light.  It’s all they know.

#2) Light Of The Church:  The Menorah.
Inside the tabernacle, in the Holy Place, where the menorah, table of showbread and the altar of incense are located, (pictured below) you’ll notice that there are no windows.The light in this place comes from the seven-lamp menorah, which depicts the Church (see Revelation 1:13).  The light in this in-between place comes from her.
In the picture above, you can see the that tabernacle completely covered.  The Holy Place 👇 is not visible from the outside, thus the light from the lampstand (a picture of the church) cannot be seen from outside.  People of the world, who live only by natural light, cannot be expected to understand the light you and I have, Church.  It is inside you; no windows. They can neither see nor comprehend it.
“And the light (Jesus) shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  John 1:5

There is no use trying to convince them about the light, either. Our part, Church, is to PREACH, NOT EXPLAIN, the light which is that Jesus loves them and died for their sins.  Our task is to reconcile the world unto Jesus. We are NOT to condemn them. We are also not to condemn fellow believers but instead to edify the church.     
#3) The Only Light: Jesus.


Above is a picture of the Holy of Holies.  Again, notice there are NO windows.  There is light yet there is NO LAMP. So here does light come from in this part of the Tabernacle? From Jesus. Jesus is the light!🙌🏻💖

As I pointed out at the beginning, the very first words spoken by God recorded in Genesis 1:3 are-“Let there be light.”  In Hebrew, however, it is only two words: “Ye-hi owr: Light be [יהי אור] These two letters spell [יה]-yod-hei, spell “Ya,” the short form of “Yahweh.”

God literally spoke His own Name and then spoke the word Light:  owr-[אור].  

It’s a perfect portrayal of John 1:1-5
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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the LIGHT of men. 5 And the LIGHT shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
That’s our Jesus!

He was born on a night that was very, very dark. That is, until a host of heavenly angels lit up the sky, making it as bright as day.  When our precious Jesus suffered for the human race, three hours at mid-day became as dark as midnight so that you and I, Church, could always walk in the light!

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and darkness was everywhere.  Though world began with no light, it will end with no night because of Jesus!  Even so, Lord, COME!

In these last days, it is once again a very, VERY dark time in history, perhaps the darkest it has ever been.  Now, MORE THAN EVER,  need Jesus!  We need the LIGHT of the World! I say again, “Even so, Lord, COME!!!

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