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Lesson 3: Jesus Is the Light of the World

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In Lessons One and Two, we painted the portrait of Jesus with two ways He described Himself to those listening to Him.

  • Jesus is the “I Am.” He is the answer to the spiritual needs of every person.
  • Jesus is the Bread of Life. His abundant love satisfies our hunger for a relationship with God.

In this lesson, we add another paint color as we see Jesus as the light of the world.

Then Jesus spoke out again, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NET)

Paint Color #3: Yellow

Today’s paint color is yellow since we’ll be talking about light. Would you agree that the sun is the biggest yellow object you know? Bright sunlight warms us up and helps us to see the world around us. At night, the sun is shining on the other side of the earth so it is dark here. When it’s dark, you might feel afraid or alone. You might feel confused because you cannot see where to go. You can stumble and fall without light to guide you.

Light helps us to see where we are going so we can keep going in the right direction and not get lost. Think of how a light at the end of a dark hallway directs you to the doorway so you don’t keep bumping into the walls. So, for this lesson the color yellow represents light and direction.

In our world, we depend on electricity to give us light in the dark. Just turn on a lamp or a switch and get instant light. When Jesus lived on the earth, there was no electricity. People depended on candles and oil lamps for light at night. Imagine what it would have been like to look out your window at night without any streetlights—anywhere! Consider how dark it could have been.

1. If you have been in a very dark place, what was that like?

2. How does darkness make you feel?

Jesus understood how much we need light to direct us in the darkness. One day He was attending a big festival in Jerusalem during the fall. A major part of that festival was the lighting of huge lamps that illuminated the entire temple area. Those weren’t the small oil lamps most people owned. They were really big ones that shone light all over the temple building. The people would gather together in that light to sing praises to God and dance. Right in the middle of that time of singing and dancing, Jesus told the crowd something about Himself.

3. Read John 8:12.

  • What does Jesus call himself?
  • What is the promise to those who follow Jesus?

You already thought about darkness and how it makes you feel. Sometimes scared, sometimes confused, and sometimes lonely. When there’s darkness all around us, light gives us direction to follow the right path. Light gives us security and makes us feel less lonely. Light helps us to see clearly.

Suppose I turned on a flashlight and pointed it at various objects in a dark room while asking you “What do you see?” After looking at several objects and hearing your responses, I could ask, “How did you know what I wanted you to see?” You would probably answer that the light directed your eyes. The light helped you to see each object better. Light gives us direction.

4. What do you think Jesus meant when He said He was the light of the world? (Consider the flashlight example above.)

Darkness in the Bible usually means not knowing God and His love. But, Jesus promises His light leads to life. Life in the Bible means spiritual life—knowing God and His wonderful love for us and living a life that pleases God. Light gives us direction. So, our yellow paint represents both light and direction.

Not too long after that festival of lights with the huge lamps, Jesus was in Jerusalem walking around. As Jesus went along, He saw a man who was born blind. That man had never seen the sun or the sky. You might know someone who is blind. Most of the time people who are blind can’t see any light at all. They are always in the dark.

5. If you couldn’t see with your eyes, what would you miss the most?

6. Read John 9:1-7.

  • What did Jesus’ disciples think was the reason the man had been born blind? [Note: That’s what many people of Jesus’ day thought.]
  • What was Jesus’ response (verse 3)?

God wasn’t angry with the man and punishing him. God allowed this man to be born blind for a special purpose. Then Jesus said these words again, “I am the light of the world.

7. Looking at John 9:6-7 again…

  • What did Jesus do next (verses 6-7)?
  • What happened then (verse 7)?
  • How do you think the man felt to finally be able to see through his eyes?

8. Read John 9:8-34. How did other people who knew the blind man respond to the knowledge of his being healed?

The blind man’s neighbors could hardly believe it. They kept saying, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” Some said, “Yes.” Others said, “No. He only looks like him.” But the man who had been blind, let’s call him the ex-blind man, kept saying, “I am the man. The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go…and wash. So I went and washed. Then I could see.” But the ex-blind man didn’t know what Jesus looked like or where He was.

Some of the Jewish leaders who didn’t believe in Jesus found out what happened to the man. Instead of praising God for the healing, they refused to believe that Jesus was God. And, they got angry with the ex-blind man and threw him out of their church building. Can you believe that!

9. Read John 9:35-39.

  • When Jesus heard that the Jewish leaders had thrown the ex-blind man out, what did He do?
  • When Jesus found him, what did He say (verse 35)? [Note: “Son of Man” was something Jesus called Himself.}
  • How did the ex-blind man answer (verse 36)?
  • When Jesus revealed Himself, how did the ex-blind man respond?

10. How did Jesus as light of the world give light to the blind man?

11. How do you think the man’s life changed after this?

To follow Jesus means to believe in Him, trust what He says, and trust what He tells us to do in the Bible.

12. In what areas of your life do you need light and direction?

13. What do you think it would look like to follow Jesus in those areas?

Jesus is the light of the world. His light directs us to follow Him. And when you follow Jesus, you are never alone because He is always with you just, like turning on a lamp in a dark room makes you feel less lonely.

No one can put out the light that Jesus brings into the world.

Following Jesus

1) Bible verse to learn:

Then Jesus spoke out again, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NET)

2) Response in prayer & praise:

Are you willing to trust Jesus as the light of your life and follow Him this week? Go ahead and talk to Him about how to follow Jesus in your life today.

3) Filling in the portrait of Jesus:

Christianity is Christ so spend a few minutes each day reading the verses and reflecting on Jesus—His life, His relationships, and His teaching. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.

  • Read John 5:1-30. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 5:31-47. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 6:1-24. Reflect on what you read.
  • Read John 6:25-71. Reflect on what you read.

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