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Light of the World

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2023 9:00 am

Light of the World

Clearview Today / Abidan Shah

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January 10, 2023 9:00 am

In this show, Dr. Shah teaches us how Jesus is the light of the world and how the Word of God is a book that uses the imagery of light all throughout scripture. 

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Welcome back, everyone.

It is Tuesday, January the 10th. I'm Ryan Hill. And I'm David Williams. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at

Or if you have a question for Dr. Shah or a suggestion for a future episode, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can send us an email at contact at And again, you can continue to keep this conversation going. You can keep help. You can keep help.

What am I trying to say? You can help keep us in the air. Or you can keep helping us.

Jon, I don't know how you do this, man. You can keep helping us keep this conversation in the air by making sure that you go and you review the show, you like the show, you share it. And then also you can support us. What's the website again? And you can always go and do that. And that's always super helpful. Absolutely. You can keep on keeping on helping us keep it on and keeping on. Yes. As you can tell, I'm stumbling here.

No, you're doing great. It's different. When you first get into it, Jon and I have been doing it for a while, so it's muscle memory at this point. In the words of Jon, hit us with the verse of the day. Hit us with the verse of the day. So the verse of the day today comes from 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 11. Therefore, comfort each other and edify one another, just as you are also doing.

I love that. If you've never read 1 Thessalonians, 1 Thessalonians is a very easy read. It reads very quickly, but it is one of the most encouraging books in the Bible.

Paul writes to the church in Thessalonica. That itself is a tongue twister. But it's just such an uplifting book. There's not a lot of, you're doing this wrong, you need to fix this. It's just, hey, keep on doing this.

You're doing a great job. It's a good book because it has those reminders like, hey, those who are asleep right now, they're not going to stay. One day we're all going to rise. The whole book is just really, really good. Both of the Thessalonian books are two of my favorites. If you need a breath of fresh air, check out the 1 and 2 Thessalonians. It's not like the Corinthians.

You're not getting scolded. The Corinthians were a hot mess. Which, honestly, most of us are a lot of times, but they were especially a hot mess. Speaking of a hot mess, I hear that you have encountered a new cinematic venture recently.

Do you want to talk about that a little bit? This is probably the best movie out there right now. Lego Batman. Lego Batman. This movie is a masterpiece. This movie is a masterpiece. I can't actually offer any perspective here because I've never actually seen the movie Lego Batman. I've seen the Lego movie in which Lego Batman is a character.

I knew that they gave him his own spinoff film, but I've never actually seen the film. It's probably not as great as I'm actually making it out to be. I didn't expect to like it. I went over to John's house the day before they went to the hospital. I was just hanging out, and John was like, hey, watch this. He turned it on, and I sat there, and I watched it, and I got about halfway through. This is the only time that I've ever gotten halfway through a movie, and then when it stopped, I was like, I need to finish that movie.

I need to go home and watch it. Lego Batman. The whole premise of the movie, and what really caught me was how funny it was, but the whole premise of the movie is obviously Batman and Joker. They're like the two villains.

They're the ones. They fight each other. They're always against each other. In this movie, Batman is for some reason refusing to call Joker his worst enemy, and the Joker doesn't like that. He's like, come on, man. Just say you're my worst enemy. Just tell me you hate me. Just tell me you hate me once. Batman's like, no, I'm not going to tell you I hate you, and is making a play on couples that won't be like, hey, I love you.

The whole chemistry between them two is extremely awkward but funny. Watching that play out, basically he goes to this portal area. I don't know what it is, where they take all the villains from other movies. The villains in this movie are Joker, Sauron, Voldemort. Wait a minute. I thought you meant other Batman villains.

No, they're just villains. The worst of the worst. Godzilla, King Kong. Gosh, who else was there? There were so many. The Gremlins for some reason.

Yeah. All these villains are dumped into the Batman universe, and the only way that he can save Gotham is by connecting. I don't even know exactly how it gets here, but they're breaking the city apart, because there's so many of these bad villains with these huge powers. The city's breaking in two, and the only way that they can save it is by connecting their heads to each other, because they're Legos. So they connect their heads, and they have to do crunches and flex their abs to bring the city together.

It's really, really dumb. And it ends with Batman becoming vulnerable. He has a little family. It's Barbara Gordon, Alfred, and Robin, Dick Grayson.

And he becomes vulnerable with Joker as well, and he finally tells the Joker that he hates him, and the Joker tears up, and the movie ends. Where can people find Lego Batman if they want to watch it? I watched it on Amazon Prime. On Prime Video. You can also buy it on Apple TV, stuff like that. You can't really stream it anywhere.

Maybe, I think, HBO Max. But if you guys have seen Lego Batman, text in and tell David. Give him some solidarity.

Let him know if you think it's a cinematic masterpiece, or if you were just sort of as confused as I am at this point. So today, we're going to talk about a complete departure from Lego Batman and Legos doing crunches to hold the world together. Jesus holds the world together. Jesus holds the world together.

That's the segue, I suppose. We're going to talk about Jesus being the light of the world. When we receive him, we use language like coming out of darkness and into the light of his salvation. But what exactly does that look like?

What does it mean that Jesus is the light of the world, and how does that impact what we are called to do as believers? We're going to grab Dr. Shaw in just a second, but if you have any questions or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028, or you can visit us online at We'll be back after this. Hey there, listeners. I'm Jon Galantis.

And I'm Ellie Galantis. And we just want to take a quick second and talk to you about Dr. Shaw's and Nicole's book, 30 Days to a New Beginning, daily devotions to help you move forward. You know, this is actually the second book in the 30 Days series, and the whole point of this devotional is to help us get unstuck from the ruts of life. You know, when it comes to running the race of life, it matters how you start, but a bad start doesn't ultimately determine how you finish the race. You can have a good finish, even with a bad start, and that's where this book comes in. No matter who you are or where you are in life, you're going to get stuck.

Instead of going out and buying some gadget or some planner, like I know I've done several times. I know that's right. 30 Days encourages you to find your fresh start in God's Word. Life doesn't have a reset button, but our God is a God who does new things.

His mercies are new every day, which means every day is a new chance for you to start over. You can grab 30 Days to a New Beginning on We're going to leave a link in the description box below. And if you already have the book, let us know what you think about it.

That's right. Send us a text, 252-582-5028. Share what God has done in your life through this devotional. Hey, maybe we'll even read your story on the air. Ellie, you ready to get back to the show?

Let's do it. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abadan Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at, or you can send us a text at 252-582-5028 with any questions or suggestions for future episodes. Dr. Shah, welcome back to the studio. How are you doing today? It is good to be here. I hope you guys are doing well.

You're doing very well. David is still with us today. I am. I'm still with you. Still here.

It's going to be three, four more days now. But he's doing a great job. I like having you at the table. I'm just giving you a hard time. He's all right. He's all right. Well, if you're joining us for the first time today, Dr. Abadan Shah is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, a professor, and might I say a good one, at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and host of Two Days Show.

You can follow Dr. Shah on his website at You try to get fancy and then... Yeah, I try to add some flair. Now I see why John sticks to the script. Like Two Days Show, like a two-day show. Yeah, it's like a two-hour tour.

One day and then two days. There's something to be said for having a script in front of you. Add a little flourish here and there, but don't get too far off. Don't get too crazy. You live here.

Right. This is where you live. None of this. Nothing crazy. This is where you live.

Ten and two. That's it. Well, today we're talking about Jesus being the light of the world. That's a phrase we hear in Scripture. That's a phrase we've talked about, especially if you've been...

If you've grown up in or around the church, you've heard those words used. But we want to talk today about what does that mean for us as believers, our understanding of Jesus, salvation, and the calling on our lives. What does that look like if we understand that Jesus is the light of the world? Dr. Shah, you preached a message on this not too long ago. Right.

It was titled Lamb Stand. In that message, I talked about how Jesus is the light of the world, and when we receive him, we come out of the darkness of sin into the light of his salvation. And once we receive that light, we are to shine his light brightly into the lost world so that others can also come from darkness into his marvelous light. So in a sense, it's both a status and a mission.

Yes. That's a good way to say that. It's something that we become and then something that we have yet to do. Yeah, it's a personal experience, and then you become sort of an extension of his light into the world that we're in so that others can find their way to God, to Jesus Christ, to be more specific.

That's beautiful. It seems like this whole sermon—I remember it because it has some verses that really stuck out to me— but it seems like the whole thing was just looking through how the Bible uses light and the imagery of light and how even throughout the Old Testament, we see that light is always representative of that light of Christ that's going to shine through and how, like you said, now that we have Christ, we're called to be that light. Right. It's something that throughout this message has really changed the way I viewed that in the Scripture, because I always viewed it as just like, you know, you have a light, blah, blah, blah. I'm going to let it shine. Yeah, that thing. But now it seems like this isn't—it's like you said, I can't think of a better way to say it.

I'm trying to, but it's not only a status, but it's also a calling. Yeah. Well, I'd like to, if we can, just take some time and talk about how the Bible uses light outside of that passage. You know, we talk about that passage from Matthew where we're called to be the light of the world, or it says that, you know, Jesus is the light and we are the light because of him. But there's, like you said in your message, light is referenced so many other times in the Bible in a variety of different ways.

Absolutely. The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, which is a great tool to have in your libraries if you don't have one, under the entry for light, it writes this. The Bible is enveloped by the imagery of light, both literally and figuratively. And what that means is this, that both the beginning and the end of the Bible mention light with as many as 200 mentions of light all in between.

Wow. So it is mentioned in the beginning, we're talking about Genesis 1-3, where God said, let there be light and it was light, there was light. God saw that the light was good and God divided the light from the darkness and God called the light day and the darkness he called night.

So the evening and the morning were the first day. So this light was not the light of the sun because the sun was not created until day four. So when he began his creation, the first thing he created was light.

And then from there, you know, other things came about. So I've heard a lot of people point to this and have a problem with it because they say the light was made, but the light source was not made until days later. Where did that light, that initial light come from? What was that first light?

It's ex nihilo. I mean, it came out of nowhere. God just created something out of nothing. And, you know, it kind of reflected God's glory and it became visible to the newly created creation.

So the creation is not being made. But this light source, whether it's God himself or whatever, is now shining. And then day four, of course, the sun, moon, stars are made.

So they take on the new role of light. If you keep in mind the end of the Bible, which is the Book of Revelation, chapter 21, verse 23 says, The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it for the glory of God illuminated it. So in the beginning, there's no light until God creates light. And then he creates sun, moon, stars on day four. But in the end, no need of sun, moon and stars, because the glory of God itself is going to illuminate the city.

The Lamb is its light. And then Revelation 22 5, There shall be no night there. There need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light and they shall reign forever and ever. So the lights are back on. But in between, right from the Garden of Eden until the end of time, the lights have gone out.

That's such a great, I mean, the comparison there between Genesis and Revelation, that's such a great way to think about that. Because people, you know, will raise issues with how could God create light. And I mean, ultimately, we can end up splitting hairs if he creates light without a light source. But God is the light. I mean, God is, if there's light in heaven without need for the sun, of course, God can make light without a light source.

He's God. Right, right. And, you know, you can really almost say the history of this world has been the history of light. So let's go back to the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve. They were covered in God's light.

You know, Psalm 104 says, Bless the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, who cover yourself with light as with a garment. And we saw a demonstration of that, or we read about it in the account of the Transfiguration of Christ in Matthew 17, 2. He was transfigured before them, his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. So Adam and Eve sinned, but when they sinned, the lights went out.

So they can see, but it was no longer the light. What is that? So I want to ask about that.

What is that? What do you mean when you say that? Because like the light went out, so obviously the sun's still shining and there's still like the stars, but do you just mean like? Spiritually. Spiritually the light. Yeah, the light went out. And now they're living in darkness. See, sin is always associated with darkness and darkness with sin. But here, you know, you see the light is associated with goodness, with God's creation, and it went out. Sin came into the world.

And Adam and Eve, of course, as you know, disobeyed God, ate the fruit that had been forbidden, and that's what they struggled with. Until 2,000 years ago, the light came, you know, in the form of the baby, and it stayed on for the next 33 and a half years. The whole duration of Jesus' ministry, the light stayed on. I almost have in my head, as you're talking about that, this image of like lights. I mean, there's sometimes when, where we live, you know, storms will come through and power will get knocked out or power will flicker. Like the lights will be on and then they'll be off and then come on and then back off again. But I have in my head almost this image of, you know, these are the lights and like the overhead lights of history. And then when Adam and Eve sinned, power went out. But there were moments where the lights were flickering.

There were moments where, oh, it looks like there's the lights coming back on and the lights will go back out. Right, right. Exactly. You know, and so Jesus in his ministry, he's shown the light of God. So here's a passage from John chapter one and verse four.

It says, In him was life, and the life was the light of men. So he's shown that light brightly and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness is not comprehended. What do people do to the light?

They try to kill it. Right. So, so that's kind of gives us some kind of a context to what Jesus came to do, you know. I love that too, because it gives us the source of light.

I mean, it adds context to the passage in Matthew that we talked about. You are the light of the world. The light doesn't come from you. It's not your light.

It's not any radiance that I myself am bringing. That's right. It says in that verse that Jesus' life was the light of men. That's right. That's right.

I also like what you said, what you read in there about, I can't remember exactly where it was, but about Jesus being the light, because it also reminds me, I think it's also John. I don't know if it's this book or if it's like 1 John, but he talks about men don't like the light because it exposes their darkness. That's right.

That's right. And it seems like, I mean, that's the reason that they killed the light is because they love the darkness. They didn't want to be seen for who they were and what they were doing.

And it's kind of indicative of even our culture. People don't like it when right now people speak out against sin because that's the light shining on their darkness. And they don't want to view it as darkness. They want to view that darkness as light.

Well, you're quoting from John 3 19. And this is the condemnation that the light has come into the world and men love darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. So, you know, very, very true that Jesus is the light of the world. But going back to the history of light, Abraham and his descendants were called to be, in a sense, to be the light of the world.

Right. Because through you, all the families of the world, of the earth will be blessed. And in Isaiah 49 in verse six, it said, Is it too small?

It is too small a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel. I will also give you as a light to the Gentiles so that you should be my salvation to the ends of the earth. So the concept of light shining in this world, you know, the history of the world is a history of light. And then God's people, when they left Egypt, the light was with them throughout. Right.

Pillar of cloud, pillar of fire. And then when Israel sinned, the light would go out. Just like at the time of Samuel, the prophet.

Right. He is he is serving Eli. And it says kind of very, very interesting the way it says it. It came to pass at that time while Eli was lying down in his place. And I'm reading from First Samuel, chapter three, verse two. And when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see. And before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was. So this lamp, of course, the sanctuary lamp. Today we have the chance of light or lamp.

But I think it was also referring to the light going out in the sense of, you know, just God's presence has left the people of God. And then throughout history, you know, God's people, when they were in trouble, they spoke and sang about the light of God, like Psalm 18, 28. For you will light my lamp. The Lord, my God, will enlighten my darkness. Psalm 27, 1. The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Whom shall I fear? Psalm 36, 9. For with you is the fountain of life. In your light we see light.

That's beautiful. You know, and then, of course, Psalm 119 has it several times. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. So God's light symbolizes his presence and his truth, and it also symbolizes salvation. I love that imagery of, especially in Psalm 36, verse 9, in your light we see light. Like that's how we know what true goodness is by being in the presence of God, experiencing his light. That's how we then, you know, have a benchmark for what that looks like in our lives. That's right.

That's right. If we're thinking about Christ being the light of the world, and then we then are called to shine that light to other people, what does that look like practically? Like, what are we called to do in regards to the darkness of this world?

Well, Jesus commissioned his disciples in Matthew 5. He said, You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden, which means you need to let your light shine brightly.

And he says that. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. So do all your ministries and your good works and evangelism in such a way that it's going to touch and impact people. Don't hide that light. Let it shine.

Don't let anybody tell you, Oh, no, no, no, that's not welcome here. No, shine the light of Jesus Christ. And Ephesians 5, it says, For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Walk as children of light. So everywhere we go, let the light of Jesus shine.

Wow. So the only catch in my mind that I'm trying to think of light seems to be this good thing. It's like the light of Christ everywhere that we go, we're supposed to be light. But there's this passage about Satan being an angel of light.

That's a good point. And I'm just wondering, like, where does that tie in or how does that play out? Second Corinthians 11, 14, you're referring to. And no wonder for Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. So he comes and he tries to, you know, give you a glimpse of some knowledge or some intuition or, you know, some impulse. Be careful of those kind of kinds of lights. You know, God's light is not going to be that sudden gleam. It's more of that steady, you know, flood of light that guides your life, guides your actions, reveals your sin and points you back to Christ. Satan's light is usually this little flash that goes, Oh, oh, yeah, why didn't I think of that before?

Let me try this. Oh, this makes me happy. I don't realize this would make me so happy. Oh, great. And usually it's got nothing of God in it. Yeah, instead of being like the lights turned on in a room, it's like that little glimmer or like shimmer on like a coin or like something. It's like, oh, how shiny is this?

Oh, shiny. And it rarely leads us somewhere good. Nothing.

Nothing good in that. It's amazing to me, and I guess it shouldn't be, but it's it's just God's word puts concepts about who God is and his characteristics and terminology that we can relate to. Right. I mean, God could just like drop down in his word and say things like my glory is magnificent and you can't comprehend it.

But see how unrelatable that can be. Right. We get the picture of light, which is something that we experience every single day. We benefit from.

We understand the benefits of it. And so to have that word picture, that that imagery that we can play off of, it's just so beautiful. It is.

It is. And let me also caution you that if if there's bitterness and resentment in your light, you will cover the light of God in your life. But John says in first John one five, this is the message that we have heard from him and declare to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. Verse seven. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.

And the blood of Jesus Christ, his son cleanses us from all sin. Fellowship with one another. So if you don't have fellowship, your light is struggling.

Verse nine. He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in darkness until now. He who loves his brother abides in the light and there is no cause for stumbling in him. So my encouragement to people is, you know, keep walking in the light. Keep walking in Christ. Keep showing the world what the salvation message is, who God is, who Christ is. And then don't let flashy things of life lure you away from the truth of God. Don't let bitterness and resentment block the light of God from shining through your life.

You know, just let his light shine through you. Such a great reminder for us of what we're called to be as the light of the world and how we're able to do that. If you guys enjoyed today's topic or you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, send us a text at 252-582-5028.

You can also visit us online at and you can support us financially on that same website. That's an opportunity for you to be the light of the world and engage in this partnership as we seek to bring the light of the message of salvation to as many people as possible. So we're grateful to our broadcasting partners. We're grateful to our giving partners and to you as our listeners and our viewers. Dr. Shaw, we have a question from Bruce H. And I'm going to rephrase the question because I think I can do this a little bit better. Can you shed some light on the best Bible commentaries that you've read? Well done. Very nice.

You threw the word light in there. Depends on which book of the Bible that I'm working with. Because sometimes people buy an entire set of commentaries, a certain, you know, commentary series by a person or by a publishing house or by a theological or whatever publishing company or something.

I don't usually do that. I pick commentaries based on my study of them. There are some wonderful commentary surveys out there. One is by D.A. Carson on the New Testament commentaries. Then there's an Old Testament Counterpart by Tremper Longman. Great commentary surveys. Then there's another one by John Glenn on commentaries.

I think I'm saying his name correctly. Then a couple other ones as well. And after, let's say I'm preaching on, say, John, the Gospel of John. So I'm going to go and look up, which I've already done many times because I preached through John through the years. I'll go and see what commentaries they recommend and what are the latest ones. And then I'll make my decision.

So anyways, I look for all those kind of things before I make a decision. Very cool. That's awesome. Bruce, I hope that was helpful for you. If you guys have questions about commentaries, be sure to text those in at 252-582-5028. We'd love to be a resource for you. Love to direct those questions to Dr. Sean. He'd be happy to answer those for you. We love you guys. We'll see you next time on Clear Read Today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-10 11:46:27 / 2023-01-10 11:59:05 / 13

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