Summary: Jesus said that he was the light of the world, but also said we were the light of the world. This message looks at the implications of that statement.
Were you scared of the dark when you were a little kid? Maybe you are still scared of the dark.
Dark wasn’t my favourite when I was a kid. And back then as a kid, you even got to be out after dark. And until I was 16, we lived in the sticks and when it got dark, it got really dark. And when you have an imagination like mine, all kinds of things lived in the dark.
Does anyone remember the group the Poppy Family? It was made up of husband and wife, Terry and Susan Jack and their band. They had a hit song in 1971 called, Where Evil Grows, and the chorus says in part:
“Evil grows in the dark
Where the sun, it never shines
Evil grows in cracks and holes
And lives in people's minds. . .”
There is something primeval about the dark.
Throughout the bible, darkness is used as a metaphor for fear and evil. And 2000 years ago, the concept of dark, was much more concrete.
When I travel to Africa and we are out in some of the villages, I marvel at how dark, dark can actually be. There is no ambient lighting from porch lights or streetlights, no light from TV’s leaking through picture windows, no taillights from traffic because there was no traffic. It’s just dark.
And during Jesus’ time that was the reality. Light was something you had through the day, and to obtain light after the sun went down, was difficult and costly.
This is week three of our “I AM” series at Cornerstone and the preaching team is taking you through the 7 “I Ams” found in the gospel of John. Specifically, these are the times that Jesus described himself and his characteristics with the words “I am”.
This week we find his statement in John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” But that wasn’t the only time Jesus used those words, if we look in John 9:5 we hear Jesus say, John 9:5 Jesus said, “. . . But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
Now the reference in chapter nine seems to flow naturally from what had just happened in the story. Jesus has been in a discussion with his disciples about a man who had been blind since birth. The disciples wanted to know if the man was blind because of his sins, or his parent’s sin.
And as part of the discussion, just before Jesus healed the man and gave him his sight, he makes the statement about being the light of the world. Which kind of makes sense. Darkness would have been seen as being synonymous with blindness. So for Jesus to go from talking about a blind man to claiming to be the light of the world provided a great segue into Jesus actually healing the blind man and removing the darkness from his life.
But the statement in John chapter 8 comes right after the story about the woman who had been caught in adultery and brought to Jesus for judgment.
I’m sure you remember the story, or at least the statement that Jesus made when he said in John 8:7 . . . so he (Jesus) stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!”
And, if you know the story, you know that everyone dropped the stones they had picked up and walked away. At that point, Jesus asked the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” And then he said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
And then immediately, without any type of segue we read, John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
Man, a shift like that could almost give a person whiplash.
So, what’s the connection between what had happened with the woman caught in adultery and the statement that Jesus made about being the light of the world?
I think Jesus was telling us that what had happened was a result of darkness
And maybe you’re wondering how in the world I came up with that?
Well, I don’t think that the Pharisees who brought the woman to Jesus were really interested in the woman or justice. They were both simply a means to an end. The end was spelled out in John 8:6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, . . .