Summary: 1. We will have the light of life (vs. 12). 2. We will have the truth we can trust (vs. 13-18). 3. We will have a home in Heaven (vs. 14; 21-23). 4. We will have His Heavenly Father (vs. 15-20).
Four Great Reasons to Follow Jesus Christ
The Gospel of John
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - December 28, 2016
(Revised September 7, 2019)
*Please open your Bibles to John 8:12. Here, the Feast of the Tabernacles had just ended. It was one of the three major feasts each year, so a great crowd was still gathered together in Jerusalem.
*One of the main ceremonies during the Feast of the Tabernacles was the "Illumination of the Temple." In the Temple Court of the Women, the priests set up four enormous stands. Each of those stands held four golden bowls for oil. These 16 golden bowls were reached by ladders and filled with oil. They used the old clothes of the priests for wicks. When those huge lamps were lit at night, the light shined all over Jerusalem. The great blaze lit up every courtyard in the city, and it burned all night long.
*But the next morning, when that man-made fire began to flicker and die, Jesus cried out, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'' (1)
*"I am the light of the world." This is the second of eight "I AM" statements Jesus spoke in John's Gospel, and they are only recorded in John. Jesus made these statements to help people understand that before He was born as a baby in Bethlehem, He was and is the Lord God Jehovah of the Old Testament.
10. "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.''
11. But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?''
12. So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.''
13. Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?''
14. And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.'' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' ''
*In Hebrew this name "I AM" was "Jehovah" or "Yahweh." And this great name for God shows up over 6,800 times in the Old Testament! The exact pronunciation and spelling have been lost, because this name is so holy that the Old Testament scribes and teachers didn't dare to pronounce it or completely write it out. Instead, they would write the Hebrew letters equal to our letters YHWH. In many of our English Bibles it shows up as LORD written with all capital letters. (2)
*The name "Jehovah" also shows up almost a thousand times in the New Testament because the name "Jesus" means "Jehovah is salvation." And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.'' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'''
*Jesus wants the whole world to know that He is the "I AM" Lord God of the Old Testament. With this background in mind, let's read vs. 12-23, and as we read, please think about why we should follow the Lord Jesus Christ.
*Take a moment to think about our sun. We tend to take it for granted, but our local star really is amazing. God created our sun to be 93 million miles away, and 864,000 miles across. It's so big that about a million earths could fit inside! And at the center, our sun is over 28 million degrees hot!
*Without the heat and light of the sun, life could not exist on the earth. But the spiritual light of Jesus Christ is infinitely more important. Jesus is the light of the world! And here He shines the light on 4 great reasons to follow the Lord.
1. FIRST: WE WILL HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.
*Again, in vs. 12, Jesus spoke to them saying, "I am the light of the world. He who FOLLOWS Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'' Without Jesus Christ, we are always walking in spiritual darkness. And you know what happens when you walk in the dark: You stumble and fall. Only, without Jesus, you stumble and fall forever.