Summary: He who gave sight to the blind desires to give you sight in the spiritual world. Jesus wants to light your way & lead you into life. Into your darkness of sin & uncertainty Jesus shines so that He may lead you into eternal life.
JOHN 8: 12-20
THE LIGHT OF LIFE
Once again Jesus intensifies the heated controversy with the amazing claim that He is the Light of the World. They wanted other witnesses to His claim but had refused all the witness that the Father had already given. God expected them to heed the light He gave them, even if it was not according to their liking. He expects the same of the world today.
He who gave sight to the blind desires to give you sight in the spiritual world. Jesus wants to light your way and lead you into life (CIM). Into your darkness of sin and uncertainty Jesus shines so that He may lead you into eternal life. Those that receive the Light and walk in fellowship with Jesus, dispel the darkness of their world. For Jesus is the Light of Life.
I. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, 12.
II. THE TRUE TESTIMONY, 13-15.
III. THE FATHER’S TESTIMONY, 16-20.
This discourse continues Jesus’ public teaching in the city of Jerusalem in the temple area. Verse 12, Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the World; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."
This is Jesus second "I AM" saying that is followed by a predicate: "I AM the Light of the World." How fitting that during the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus . . . said, I AM the Light of the world (1:4, 9; 12:35, 46). The Feast of Tabernacles included a popular light ceremony. Four large stands with four golden bowls were placed in the heavily-used Court of the Women. These sixteen golden bowls (reached by ladders) were filled with oil. When they were lit at night, they were the brightest light in all Jerusalem. In a world that did not have public lighting after dusk, this light shining from Jerusalem’s yellow limestone walls must have been spectacular. [Choirs of Levites would sing during the lighting while "men of piety and good works" danced in the streets, carrying torches and singing hymns. [Mishnah ]
Imagine the scene! In the very court where the lighting ceremony takes place, Jesus stands beneath sixteen lit bowls of oil and says that He is not only the true light of Jerusalem, but of the whole world!
Jesus is referring to the countless times that God’s saving work in the world is described as "light." John 1:5 states, "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not comprehend it" God’s first creation was light (Gen. 1:3). The word light was directly synonymous with God Himself (and His saving activity). God even led the Israelites in the desert with light (Ex. 13:21 – 22; Ps. 78:14), and they were taught to sing, "The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?" (Ps. 27:1). God’s wisdom given to the world is a light that illumines His people (Prov. 8:22). Psalm 119:105 proclaims, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." "In Thy light so we see light" (Ps. 36:9). "Send out Thy light and Thy truth; let them lead me" (Ps. 43:3). (Num. 6:24-26; Isa.49:6; 60:19-22). Micah’s confession of trust was, "When I sit in darkness, the Lord will be a light to me" (Mic. 7:8). In rabbinic Judaism, this light was defined further as God’s Word (Torah), which guides and provides wisdom through study.
[Light" is used to describe the work of Christ sixteen times in the Gospel of John. John’s 1st letter declares, "God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).]
The world is in darkness, a symbol of evil, sin, and ignorance (Isa. 9:2; Mt. 4:16; 27:45; John 3:19).. Jesus is "the Light," not merely a light or another light among many lights. He is the only Light, "the true Light" (John 1:9), for the whole world. When Jesus said, Whoever follows Me, He meant whoever believes and obeys Him (10:4-5, 27; 12:26; 21:19-20, 22). If Jesus is the light or way of salvation, walking "in the light" is a description of discipleship (1:7) or sanctification.
Coming to Christ for salvation results in a different kind of life. A believer will never walk in darkness, that is, he will not live in it (12:46; 1 John 1:6-7). He does not remain in the realm of evil and ignorance (John 12:46) for he has Christ as his Light and salvation (Ps. 36:9).
Nothing could have startled and shocked the people more. These words assert that the speaker is the source of illumination for the world. He is the only source and the source for all the world.
In claiming to be the Light of the World, Jesus clearly declared Himself to be the Messiah. One of the names of the expected Messiah was light (Isa. 60:19-22; Zech. 14:5b-7). There could be no question about His self-identification after that!