Posted in Isaiah, John

The Christmas Light

“The people (Galilee of the Gentiles) who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them…For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on his shoulders; and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:2; 6

We didn’t get the best looking Christmas tree one year. It wasn’t exactly a Charlie Brown tree, but it was kind of unshapely and rough looking. Our solution was to put an extra string of lights on it to take attention away from the tree and put it on the lights. It worked! When we turned  it on at night it rivaled any tree we ever had.

Our tree is like the human race – we need light. Our text refers to those in Galilee who will see a great light. What is the light? It turns out it will be a child, a son, who will be given to us. Oh, and by the way, this child will be called God in the flesh (Mighty God).

While Isaiah looks forward to the coming Messiah, John looks backward and sees something very similar. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… In Him was life (zoe) and the life (zoe) was the light of men… And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:1, 4; 14)

The Greek word for God’s kind of life is zoe. The zoe in Jesus was the light of men. In John 5:26 He says, “Just as the Father has life (zoe) in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life (zoe) in Himself.” Then Jesus goes on to say something amazing in John 10:10, “I came that they (us) may have life (zoe).”

Jesus came to light us up. We don’t look good or do much good when we’re walking in darkness. It’s time to forsake the darkness and turn on the great light that first appeared in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago. It’s time to receive the light (John 1:12) and then learn how to live looking up, so the light can draw others who are trapped in darkness.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; but the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)


Pastor at City Church in Madison, Wisconsin