Luke 1:76-79 “And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
When travelers in Israel would be caught on the road after dark, they were at high risk of thieves and, in our modern speech, getting mugged. There were no street lights to show the way and chase away shadows. They sometimes had no moonlight or stars to help. The roadways out of Jerusalem were in places very narrow with many caves and lots of places for thieves to hide. Waiting for the dawn to light the way could be a long scary experience.
Jesus was going to be that sun rising in a world filled with the darkness of sin. He would shine that light into the lives of the religious elite and the beggar in the streets and everyone in between. He would allow them to make their own choices whether to admit the sin in their lives or be offended and self-righteous. Jesus wept over Jerusalem when they rejected Him.
Jesus rejoiced, however, over us throughout the ages when we chose Him and were willing to be humbled by His gift of salvation. He is asking us to be that light to the world. He is asking us to go before Him and offer to the people in our lives the Light of the world. God’s word tells us that the angels rejoice when one sinner is brought to salvation. We will be given the crown of glory when we come into His presence at the final judgment. Whether we offer our daily lives as a witness to the mercy and grace of Jesus or if we verbally witness, whether we financially and prayerfully give to others who are in the midst of the battle, God honors our efforts. He sees our heart and motives and is blessed by our submission. He is joyfully waiting to tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”