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Wired magazine had a cover with the word “Brilliant” next to a light bulb. When you turned to the article it said in big letters: “Let there be LED” (sounds almost biblical, doesn’t it?).

The race was on to come up with great LED bulbs and one of the developers featured in the article said this: “Light is something people have always needed. This is a light source people will want.”

The light source people will desire…can you think of a light source this world desperately needs and really should want? If you need any clues, listen to Jesus say to the people in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (NLT). To his disciples, he also says in John 9:5, “While I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Jesus talks about light people need. Why does he use light as a metaphor? Well, think about light for a moment. By its very nature, light illuminates and guides. But there is even more to this than you might at first suspect.

You see, Israel was supposed to know all about light (cf. Isa. 42:5-6; 49:6). Unfortunately, God’s people had largely failed to shine. The attitude of so many of them toward the Romans (and their enemies in general) was to say “God will send us a Messiah and then we’ll show them!”

And God answered, “I will send you a Messiah and then you will show them—you will show them my love, my heart, my will, my salvation, my joy, and my peace.”

Israel is now made up of all those who find their identity not in a nationality or an ethnicity but in Jesus as King. And Jesus calls God’s Israel to go be the light he created us and formed us to be.

The point of light is to point! We are to point to the glory of the Father, pointing the world to Jesus. We have the opportunity to help people see Jesus is the source of light they truly need and should really want. Our works and our brightness go hand in hand, as people watch what we do, and then see the one who motivates us by his grace shining through us.