Summary: Man has a great need. He may not always be aware of it, but the need is still there. Man is in darkness. He can’t see into the future or into the next world. He can’t see God, who He is and what He’s like. He can’t see the real meaning, significance,
Let’s start tonight’s study off by admitting that man has a great need. He may not always be aware of it, but the need is still there. Man is in darkness.
- He can’t see into the future or into the next world.
- He can’t see God, who He is and what He’s like.
- He can’t see the real meaning, significance, and purpose in life.
- He can’t grasp perfect knowledge not assurance of eternal life.
So man’s great need is to see the Light of the world. Thus, our study for tonight.
READ 12-13. Jesus again makes His claim. He is the Light of the world. Once again we see one of Jesus’ “I AM” statements. This was His claim to deity. His claim was the first thing He stated.
The promise He made was two-fold. He said, “Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness AND will have the light of life. Jesus was trying to get us to realize and admit that we don’t have light in us—not by nature. We are in darkness by nature. But Jesus also is telling us that we can be delivered out of this darkness by following Him. I must note that the Greek word for “follows” is a continuous verb meaning that following Jesus is a continuous action. We must continue to follow Jesus in order to receive light.
What do you suppose Jesus meant by the phrase “light of life?” A man exists in darkness until he follows Christ. And if we were honest with ourselves, the meaning, purpose, and significance of life can’t be seen and known apart from following Christ. It’s Christ who throws light on life, revealing what life really is.
The Pharisees objected to this claim. They knew exactly what He was claiming, that He was the Messiah and He alone could give light to the world. In their minds, only God could give light to the world. Their charge was that Jesus was alone in bearing witness to His claim. He didn’t have other witnesses so His claim was false. You might remember back in chapter 5 that Jesus gave 5 witnesses to His claims.
-the witness of the Spirit, John the Baptist, of miraculous works, of God Himself, and of the Scriptures—all witnesses to the truth of Jesus’ claims. We’ll come back to this when we get to verse 18.
READ v. 14. Slap! The first proof of Jesus’ claim is His great knowledge. He knew His origin and destiny. He was declaring, “I am the Light of the world.” He was saying, it’s not false, it’s not a lie, it’s not an ego trip.
And Jesus’ witness was valid. And His witness was sufficient evidence for a very strong reason. He knew where He came from, He knew His destiny.
Man really couldn’t tell where Jesus had come from or where He was going. Why? Simply put, man cannot penetrate or see the spiritual world. Physical eyes are blind to the world of the Spirit. Let’s get deep. If there is any communication with the spiritual dimension, the spiritual world must come into this world, into the physical dimension.
And this is exactly what has happened. And I’m not talking about John Edward’s crossing over garbage. I’m talking about what Jesus has just said. He had come from heaven, from the spiritual dimension of being. He had been an eyewitness of heaven. He had been in the very presence of God Himself, and God had sent him from heaven into this world to declare the glorious message of salvation.
READ 15-16. Jesus goes on to further prove His claim by showing man’s incompetence. Again, this is because of the difference between the two worlds, the difference between the physical and spiritual dimensions. And here is how he said it.
1. Men judge by human standards, that is, by appearance. Men judge by what they see and know. The only evidence they have is what they see in their world. But if you think about it, if men try to judge Jesus’ claim, they can’t do it on the basis of physical evidence. Why? Because Jesus is not of this world. So what does that mean? Men have to judge Him by faith. They either accept His testimony or reject it. Remember in Jn. 7:24 when Jesus told them, “Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment.”
2. Then Jesus shows that His judgment is true. He didn’t judge by appearance but by God’s presence. What He was saying was that He wasn’t alone. He didn’t speak or act alone. The Father was with Him and the Father sent Him so what He claimed and did was of the Father.
Again, Jesus called God “the Father” and referred to His mission: “The Father SENT Me.” Since Jesus had come from the presence of God He’s the only One who could know all the facts. He had come to proclaim the message of salvation: “I am the Light of the world: whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”