The Meaning of Light in the New Testament by Myra Kahn Adams for Town Hall
Author’s Note: Interested readers can find all previous volumes of this series here.
Today we conclude our two-part study exploring the Meaning of Light in the Bible. Last week in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, we discussed how God created light to give life to all living things. Light symbolizes God’s Glory. He is light. His holiness, presence, goodness, and above all, His love shines upon us when we show our love for Him by showing love for each other.
Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
In the New Testament, the Meaning of Light is God’s love for humankind revealed through the light of Jesus Christ in a dark, sinful world.
Question: What did God create on the fourth day “to separate light from darkness?” Answer: He “made stars.” And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth (Genesis 1:17).
Subsequently, when the Messiah’s birth was foretold in the fourth book of the Hebrew Bible by the oracle Balaam — the prophecy mentioned a star coming out of “Jacob” (the name often used to reference the Jewish people) that read:
“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel…” (Numbers 24:17).
Approximately 1,412 years later, a bright star heralded the birth of Jesus — famously seen by the local shepherds and the “Magi from the east,” also known as the “Wise Men.” They traveled to Jerusalem bearing gifts asking, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). And why should YOU “worship him”? Jesus has the answer: