Summary: Jesus is the Light of the world, and He gives light in order to reveal the heart of the Father.
The I Am Series - The Light of the World - John 8:12, 9:1-6
We’re continuing to meet online, as this is what we can do. Hopefully soon, the pandemic will lift and we’ll be able to meet again in person.
And maybe, just maybe, for all the sadness we’re going through now, for all the isolation we’re experiencing, for the depression some of us are fighting because we’re cut off from being with each other, maybe, when we do get back together, we’ll have learned something.
We’ll have learned something about the importance of being together, of being able to gather as the church of Jesus.
And it’s my hope and prayer, and the focus of some of my mental energy, how we can make things better, include more people and have a greater impact together as we grow in Christ and as we serve the Lord.
Today we’re on the 3rd message on the I AM statements of Jesus.
Pastor Arleen began with Jesus who is the I AM. That was one of the glaringly clear times that Jesus personally claimed to be God.
But as clear as that is, as Pastor Arleen explained, if we have blinders on, we won’t see it. Many look at this passage and won’t be able to understand.
That’s because we need light to see. We need illumination to see. We need light, that means we need Jesus to be able to understand, because Jesus is, as we are learning today, the light. The light of the world.
In our first reading, Jesus says: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12
Jesus is the light who cast lights on the truth and exposes the lie
He says this immediately following an amazing encounter with the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11.
In that instance, a blood-thirsty crowd has brought a woman (and NOT the man) to Jesus, wanting to stone her to death.
They did this seemingly to get his judgment on what should happen to her, but really they are trying to trip him up with a matter of the law.
If he says she shouldn’t be stoned, then He would expose Himself as someone who did not respect the law, as a Rabbi who then couldn’t be trusted as a teacher.
If he says she should be stoned, that would cost Jesus His reputation with the people as a gentle and caring soul who leaned heavily toward mercy.
Jesus bends down and writes something, something we’re not sure what it was, in the sand.
He then gets up and tells the crowd to stone her, but he says it this way: he who is without sin, cast the first stone. One by one, from the eldest to the youngest, they dropped their stones and walk away.
Jesus asks the woman, who seconds ago had fully been expecting to die a horrible death, where her accusers were. She says they’re gone. Jesus says: “neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more”.
It’s a stunning scene, really. Full of drama and full of...darkness, when you think about it.
It’s a murderous mob wanting to kill a lady, with great hypocrisy and disregard of the law of God, because the man, who was an equal partner in the adultery, was nowhere to be seen.
Dude got off scot free. It’s like it’s the sin of the men in the mob judging the sin of the woman. Sin judging sin. That never ends well.
The mob was wanting to use the letter of the law of God...to specifically violate the spirit of the law. That’s a good way to mock the law of God. Again, never ends well.
The spirit of the law is: love God and love your neighbour. That’s Jesus' summary of the entire law of God in the OT. Put on Screen: That’s not even new. Jesus is quoting from the Old Testament (Deut 6:5), and (Leviticus 19:17-18)
It’s a scene full of darkness. And into that scene, which could have ended truly horribly, Jesus brings light. And that light is the light of God.
That light exposes the sin and hypocrisy of the mob. That light treats the law of God with respect.
That light reveals the heart of God, which is a heart of grace: favour and kindness that is unmerited.
That light calls us higher. Jesus didn’t say: “O good. Nobody wants to kill you anymore. Go your way”. No. Jesus said: “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more”.
That’s what Jesus, the light of the world, does in this account. And so the very next sentence in John chapter 8 is: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12