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Light Commands Our Attention

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
–Isaiah 9:2

Why do so many of our Christmas traditions link Jesus with light? How is Jesus Christ like light?

There is something about light that commands our attention, and that was true about Jesus. Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth, Isaiah wrote this prophecy about Him: “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them” (9:2). Before Christ came, this world was enveloped in darkness, in night, but the light of Christ broke through that darkness.

Admittedly, Jesus’ coming did not attract a lot of attention at first. He was born in Bethlehem, a town so small it was not even listed in the registry of Judean villages. He was born to parents who did not have two denarii to rub together. During His brief life, He never held public office, He never owned a home, and He never had a family. He lived 1,450 years before the printing press was invented. He lived 1,900 years before the radio was invented. Yet 2,000 years later, we are still talking about Him, aren’t we? Jesus Christ is the center of human history.

Even unbelievers have to acknowledge Jesus’ coming. Every time somebody writes the date, they are testifying to the birth of Jesus Christ. They are saying it has been 2,019 years since the most important event in human history, the birth of Jesus Christ. The whole world testifies to His life. The writer H. G. Wells wrote, “More than 1,900 years later, a historian like myself, who doesn’t even call himself a Christian, finds the picture centering irresistibly around the life and character of this most significant man.” A scholar at the University of Chicago noted, “There has been more written about Jesus Christ in the last 20 years than in the first 1,900 years after his birth combined.” People are still talking about Jesus.

Somebody once asked talk-show host Larry King, “If you could interview anybody in history, who would you choose?” Without hesitating, King said, “I would interview Jesus Christ.” The questioner asked, “What question would you ask Him?” King said, “I would ask Him if He was indeed virgin-born. The answer to that question would define history for me.”

Jesus Christ continues to define history. He is the center of this universe, and that is why we need to remind ourselves that our job is not to lift up a philosophy, a moral code, or a political dogma; our goal is to lift up the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself” (John 12:32).

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Night Before Christmas” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.

H. G. Wells, quoted in Philip Yancey, “The Jesus I Never Knew” (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1995), 17; Larry King, quoted in Greg Laurie, “Why The Virgin Birth Of Jesus?” Harvest Christian Fellowship, December 9, 2013.

Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (

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