Summary: The source of our light is found in Jesus Himself.
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
On the last day of the feast of Tabernacles some water from the Pool of Siloam had been poured out in the vicinity of the altar in the Temple. Jesus had made His appeal for the spiritually thirsty to come to Him and quench their thirst with living water (John 7:37-39). Then the four golden lamps which had illuminated Jerusalem throughout the feast were extinguished.
Soon after this Jesus’ voice was heard again, making another bold claim pertinent to this feast. “I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (8:12). This is the second significant “I am” saying of John’s Gospel, in which Jesus is both unashamedly identifying Himself with the true and living God, and offering Himself to His people.
Light and living water had been two of the symbols of the feast of Tabernacles. In a clearly Messianic prophecy, light and living water are brought together with the appearance of the Lord on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4; Zechariah 14:6-8). The feast of Tabernacles is imposed even upon the enemies of Israel, and those who will not come to this light, and those who will not drink of this fountain, find themselves excluded from the benefits of the kingdom of God (Zechariah 14:16-19).
When the children of Israel left Egypt, the Lord went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21-22). Not only is the Lord Jesus the guiding light of Israel, but also a light to lighten the Gentiles (Isaiah 49:6). The Apostle Paul turned to the Gentiles in fulfilment of this universal mission of the gospel (Acts 13:46-47).
Jesus is offering Himself in a personal way to be our light, and our salvation (Psalm 27:1). When we “follow” Him we no longer walk in darkness, but have the light of life (John 8:12). Like the man born blind, we declare that “whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25).
On a practical level, this possession of Jesus as the light of our life should be reflected in our daily walk. We are now the bearers of light to a dark world. We need to renew our faith day by day by taking upon ourselves the armour of light (Romans 13:12).
The source of our light is found in Jesus Himself. Any light that we may have is at best a pale reflection of His, much as the planets reflect the glory of the sun. The closer we walk with him, the brighter we shine.
Then at last we shall be translated to a place where the Lord manifests Himself as an everlasting light, and where we shall behold His glory as never before (Isaiah 60:19-20). It is a place where sorrow and mourning shall flee away. There shall be no sun, no moon, no candle, no artificial light, but we shall reign forever and ever basking in the light of God’s glory (Revelation 22:5).
Jesus pronounced the name of God: “I am.” This fact was not lost on His detractors. He testified of Himself, that He is the light of the world. He summons us out of the darkness of corruption into the light of life.