THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
(John 9:5) "As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Isaiah prophesied about the light in regard to both Israel and the Gentiles. And when Jesus came into the world much is said of Him as the light of the world. [Read specifically the first chapter of John.] Nearly all the translations put it the same way as in the KJV. Two, that I have access to, use words that convey exactly the same thought but with one word. They use the word "when" and "while" in place of "as long as."
The Jew of Jesus' day nor the Jew of the present day can abide the idea that God will have mercy on the Gentile in spite of what the prophet says. Hear him in Isaiah 42:6: "I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;" and again in Isaiah 60:1-3 "Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."
Notice that the prophet contrasts the gross darkness with the light which should shine. Then see how the prophecy is fulfilled, even in the personal ministry of the Lord. (Matthew 4:15) "The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.
Even though the prophet made it plain and the Lord charged the apostles to enlighten the world and to teach the nations (ethnos) they withheld the glorious light of the gospel until the days of Cornelius. After hearing the testimony of Peter the elders and the rest of the apostles in Jerusalem handed down the verdict, "they glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life." (Acts 11:18).
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