Summary: Message 16 from John's gospel exploring the claim of Jesus to be the light of the world.
Pastor David Welch
“Let There Be Light”
Overview of the passage
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12
Response of the Jews
You are tooting your own horn. Prove your outrageous claims. Who can vouch for you?
Answer of Jesus
I can only speak truth.
I don’t need any earthly authentication.
I have my own witness as well as My Father’s witness.
Response of Jews
They wanted to seize Him but it was not yet his time.
Jesus continued teaching 21-30
Unless you respond to the light I have given you will die in you sin.
I am the only source of light outside of your dark world.
Unless you believe that I AM, you shall die in your sins.
I am here to reveal the light (truth) my Father sent me to reveal.
Response of some of the Jews
Many questioning Him
Is He going to kill himself? Who are you?
Many believing in Him
In order to appreciate this claim we need to take some time to understand the terms and ideas presented here and in other passages of Scripture. We somewhat understand darkness and light in a physical sense. Darkness results from one of two things.
1. Absence of a light source.
2. Inability to perceive a light source.
Regardless of the cause, physical darkness impedes mobility, perception of activity, ability to distinguish between objects without the use of other senses, depth perception, color perception and any number of other liabilities only those stumbling around in the darkness realize. What does Jesus mean when he claims to be the light of the world and what does it mean to walk in darkness? Jesus spoke to Jews familiar with the concepts from a spiritual perspective. When they heard Jesus, they should have immediately referenced the many prophecies and promises made by God. What darkness is Jesus talking about here? In what way is He the light in a dark world?
The following observations are a result of a study of many Old and New Testament passages on light darkness.
The Nature of Darkness
Spiritual Darkness = absence of personal righteousness
Spiritual Darkness = absence/ignorance of truth
Darkness = evil deeds and behavior
Darkness = living the lie, living without God’s revelation
Where there is no revelation, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law. Pro 29:18
Failing to live the truth is equal to darkness. There is a group of people who refuse to live by God’s standard and they are called the kingdom of darkness ruled by the prince of darkness. People live in darkness because of their behavior. (They love darkness because deeds are evil and light exposes their moral deficit.)
Avoid light places People practice the deeds of darkness because of their ignorance or failure to perceive the truth. (Satan has blinded them from the truth)
Unable to perceive light. All men are born in the darkness unable to perceive truth and citizens of an evil realm that naturally avoids the light (truth).
In order to see light two things must happen.
1. There must be a light source.
2. Something must be done to the individual in order to perceive that light source.
Isaiah wrote in a time of deep spiritual and moral darkness. In his prophesies we find both the nature of spiritual darkness and the promise of new light.
In 5:20, Isaiah pronounces God’s woe or curse on those who confuse light and dark.
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20
Evil = darkness= bitter Good=light=sweet
We live in a world that continually calls evil good and good evil, who substitute truth with a lie and what is sweet with bitterness.
In 9:2-3 Isaiah prophesies a time when light will shine in darkness.
The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
You shall multiply the nation; You shall increase their gladness;
They will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest,
as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. Isaiah 9:2-3
In chapter 29:18-19 Isaiah enlarges on the promise of new light
And on that day the deaf shall hear words of a book,
and out of their gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.
The afflicted also shall increase their gladness in the LORD,
and the needy of mankind shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:18-19
In chapter 42:16 He will lead the blind and guide them. Make darkness light before them. Make rugged places smooth.