“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through Him. He was not the Light, but [he came] to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.” (John 1:5-9)
It was easy to make a mistake. Here was a prophet, John the Baptist, preaching about the kingdom of God and baptizing people in the Jordan River. Was he the light that Isaiah spoke about in Isaiah 60? Was he the messiah, the one to whom the nations would come and offer gifts?
I’m sure many people got very excited when John the Baptist burst onto the scene around A.D. 30. Finally, after 450 silent years, God appears to be speaking to us! But John’s knowledge of who he was differed from the people’s expectation. Some of them asked John, “Who are you? Are you the Messiah? Are you Elijah? Are you the Prophet like Moses?” John responded with the words of Isaiah, “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord.'” (John 1:19-23) How cool of a response is that! He was not the Light. Jesus was the Light.
John’s calling was to prepare the way for Jesus and proclaim Him as the Light of the World. John had no power to enlighten the hearts of men. He had no power to reach into those same hearts and see the true motivation for how we act, think, and live our lives. Jesus did. So John’s purpose was to show people the Light of Christ, in order that they may place their faith in Christ and be saved.
This Christmas season let your purpose be the same as John’s. Be a testimony to Jesus Christ. Show people around you His everlasting Light and pray that they might see and believe. One reason we put Christmas lights up during this season is because we are celebrating Jesus as the Light of the World. And this tradition is celebrated all over the world, even in places like China and India, where lights are placed on roofs or inside paper bags. Jesus is the Light of the World. Let us proclaim Him!