Summary: Uses the acrostic SHINE to show how Jesus is the Light of the World. Several OT references are used.
“The Light of the World”
The I AM Statements of Jesus
FCC – August 12, 2007
Text: John 8:12
Introduction: This morning we are continuing a new sermon series, The I AM statements of Jesus from the Gospel of John. Jesus made an incredible statement to the Jews in response to a discussion about the greatness of Abraham. This is what Jesus said:
John 8:58 (NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" Wow. What a claim. Jesus pre-existed before Abraham! At that point the Scripture says that the Jews began to pick up stones to stone Jesus. They knew that He was claiming to be God and that was blasphemy to them. It reminded me of a time in the OT when God gave His name to Moses at the burning bush:
Exodus 3:14-15 (NIV) God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ’I am has sent me to you.’ " God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, ’The Lord, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
Throughout the book of John, Jesus makes claims about Himself. There are seven I AM statements that we will be looking at these next few weeks. Last week we looked at the statement: “I AM the Bread of Life” This week we are going to focus on Jesus’ statement found in John 8: 12 “I AM the Light of the World.”
During the feast of Tabernacles the children of Israel celebrated God’s provision for them in the wilderness. He had provided manna from heaven and Jesus reminded them that He was the Bread of Life. God had provided water out of a rock, and Jesus reminded them that He was living water. Also during the wilderness, God had provided them a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire to lead the children of Israel. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Exo 13:21
During the Feast, 4 huge candelabras were placed in the court of women in the Temple. These lamps were kept during all 8 days of the festival to remind the people of the pillar of fire which had guided them in the wilderness. As Jesus taught about who He really was He said remember what these candles represent. They remind us that back in the wilderness, God led the people with pillar of fire, a pillar of light. And Jesus said, “I am the light. No just of the wilderness. Not even just of Israel. I am the light of the world.”
Isaiah 9:2 told about a day when Jesus would come, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
So Jesus shows up on the scene, during the Feast of the Tabernacles and says in John 8:12 (NIV) "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
By the way, I just thought I would let you know that three years ago I preached on John 8 in a more expositional manner…my commitment to you is to never preach a sermon twice on Sunday morning, but to always bring something fresh. So, I read the sermon from 3 years ago, and decided to do something totally different. I began looking at all the references to light in the Word of God. I was amazed how many references there are!! Guess which book in the Bible has more references to light? Triva time…it’s the book of Job followed by Psalms and Isaiah. So I spent quite a bit of time meditating on light and it’s purpose and came to this verse:
Psalm 4:6 (NIV) Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?" Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. So with that as our prayer: For God to shine His light on us…I came up with an acrostic SHINE. Jesus shines His face on us by…
Saving – The Light of Jesus shines on us primary to save us. He shines His light on our spiritual condition…and by the way, not everyone likes the light. Job 24:16 (NIV) In the dark, men break into houses, but by day they shut themselves in; they want nothing to do with the light. It is during the cover of darkness that we can do things that we would never do during the light of day. But light reveals our spiritual condition…