revjoaquinwillisweb.gifIn John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Christ brings God’s presence, protection and guidance into our lives.  Is He the Light of your world?  What does following the light of Christ mean? 

The Pharisees thought Jesus was either a lunatic or a liar, and ignored the option that Jesus was speaking the truth.  If you seek the light and truth for yourself, you will come to know that Jesus is the true Lord, and the Messiah. 

As he stood in the temple where offerings were collected and where candles burned to symbolize the pillar of fire that led Israelites through the desert, Christ called himself the “light of the world.”  In Luke 12:10, Christ again referred to light, and discussed blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  We read in Luke 11:34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body is also full of light. But when (your eyes) are bad, your body is also full of darkness.”

The Pharisees committed blasphemy by attributing miracles to Satan, instead of to the Holy Spirit.  To Christ, this attribution was unpardonable sin. We, too, sin when we refuse to acknowledge work of the Holy Spirit. 

God may use our worship to call attention to those who turn their backs on the church.  Do we recognize any who are lost and rejected, whose eyes and bodies have become full of darkness, whose hearts are stone-like, whose spirits are unforgiving and far from repentance?   

Did God forgive Judas?  I am often asked whether I think Judas, after his suicide, went to heaven or to hell.  I do not know.    

We know for certain that we serve a forgiving God.  A God who, at Calvary, forgave a thief suffering on the cross, who forgave Moses his murder and set Israel free, who forgave David his adultery and allowed him to remain king, who forgave Abraham his lies and promised him fatherhood of many nations.

God was able to forgive those who had sinned and broken the Ten Commandments.  In spite of their huge  and public mistakes, God has used sinners for His holy purpose. 

I believe the light of Jesus is clarion, a call from God to allow the Holy Spirit to fill our eyes with His light of the world.  With this illumination, Christ can fill our souls with His goodness.  We can receive the light to guide our lives, hearts, minds and speech.  In Him, all will be cleansed at their source.

We need to believe that our journey to Christ will save our souls, and that it will serve to illuminate the work of the Holy Spirit in us, in life-changing and mysterious ways. 

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door at 6001 NW 8th Ave., Miami.  To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or email the pastor at