Summary: This is the 24th sermon in a series on the Gospel of John. In this sermon we look at Jesus' claim to divinity by His statement "I am the Light of the World."
Jesus: Light of the World (John pt. 24)
Text: John 8:12-30
Well Church; we’ve made it to John chapter 8. And We’re actually going to jump down to verse 12, and not read verses 1 through 11 this morning. And you say, “Why are we doing that Pastor Ken?” Well I’m glad you asked that question… If you’ll look in your Bibles… it’s not going to be on the screen… it’s in your Bible. And if you’ll look back to chapter 7… in between verses 52 and 53 it should say something like, “The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53 through John 8:11.” If your Bible doesn’t say that, then you probably don’t have a good study Bible, and you should look into getting one. The Ligonier Study Bible and the MacArthur study Bible are both excellent.
Now for some people; I realize that when they read something like that… it blows their theological circuits. Their minds are suddenly flooded with questions. They’re like, “Wait a minute… are you saying that the story of the woman caught in adultery isn’t actually in God’s Word? And if it’s not in the original manuscripts, how did it get there? Who added it? Why did they add it? If it’s not part of God’s Word, then why is it still there?” So I want to address those questions real quick, and then get on to our text. You know… that’s one thing you guys can say… You may not have the most eloquent speaker as a pastor… the most charming and charismatic guy who’s ever stood behind a pulpit… but I don’t avoid dealing with these kinds of hard issues we occasionally find in Scripture. You know… should this passage be in the Bible or not? If it shouldn’t be… then why is it? And we don’t want to go into a full; seminary type of lecture on this, and spend all our time dealing with it… We’ve got a text to examine, but we don’t want to just ignore it and pretend it’s not an issue. Because it is and issue…
So here’s the deal with this passage… it’s not found in the earliest manuscripts of this passage in John’s Gospel. And none of the early Church Fathers, Leaders, or Commentators ever even mention this passage. In-fact; it’s not really mentioned until around 1150 AD. It was added in to a Greek translation we call the Textus Receptus in the 1400’s, and the Textus Receptus is the version that the 1611 King James version of the Bible was based on. So by all accounts… it probably shouldn’t be included in our Bible… that’s why a good study Bible will have that footnote, letting you know it wasn’t in the earliest manuscripts. And that’s why we’re jumping over it this morning.
So where did it come from? Well… it was probably an oral… traditional story, that had been passed on from generation to generation. We know that some manuscripts had this story situated somewhere in Luke (again, not originally, but later manuscripts)… so it had been around for a while… but; like I said, it probably isn’t canonical… and shouldn’t be in the Bible… that’s why we’re skipping over it.
You see; as I preach to you, the only authority I have is the authority of God’s Word. So if I stand up here and preach something that isn’t God’s Word… or if I stand up here and do not rightly preach God’s Word, there’s no authority there. And if it’s NOT His Word, then there’s no standing on the promise of God that His Word will not return void. And since all the evidence and facts point to these verses being something that was added later on. It’s best if we just jump over them, and get into what we know for certain IS the Word of God.
Now if that causes you some problems… see me after the service, and we’ll sit down and I’ll show you why we can still trust the Bible. And please don’t get hung up on that, because I don’t want you to miss what God says to us this morning.
We’re in John… chapter 8:12 – 30 (READ).
Now if you remember last time, Jesus had just said to the crowds… “Hey, you know how God provided for you back in the Exodus… How He gave you mana from heaven, and water from the Rock? I’m the God who did that. So if any man comes to Me, he will never thirst again, and if any one believes in Me, he will have rivers of living water flowing from him.” It was a claim of deity. He’s saying He’s the God who provided for them during the Exodus.
Well, in verse 12 He does it again. He says, “Anyone who follows Me will not walk in darkness.” And again, let’s think back to the Exodus… remember how God led the people of Israel? It was a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire, by night. They followed this great pillar of fire… this great light, and it guided them, and led them. Jesus is saying, “I’m the same God who provides that light.” Basically what Jesus is doing here is preaching out of the Book of Exodus… Several times He’s said, “I AM” (Ego Eimi), which is what God says to Moses when He called him. Jesus say’s I’m the rock… if you’re thirsty come to Me. Now He’s saying, “I’m the light” Follow Me.