Summary: Jesus is the light of God who leads us through the darkness of ignorance and sin into the bright relationship with God.
1. A company’s test for the ingenuity of potential employees included: (adapted from sermon, “Light of the World” by Martin Dale)
You are in a plane flying over the desert and as you are sitting near the cockpit you hear the Captain giving his co-ordinates to the tower at 1500 hours. Half an hour later, however the plane crashes in an uninhabited part of the desert in which the only vegetation is a few cactus trees. But before the plane crashes you hear the Captain sending off an SOS message to the tower and you hear them reply – but you can’t make out what they have said.
The plane crashes and no one is hurt but the radio is totally destroyed and it looks as if the plane is going to explode in a few minutes time. In the plane there are only ten things that you can see that you can take out of the plane – but you can only take three of them. What three items would best ensure your survival and why. You have one minute to get into groups to decide:
The ten items are:
1. A bottle of water
2. A box of salt tablets
3. A parachute
4. A knife
5. A sun hat
6. A lady’s vanity mirror
7. A watch
8. A compass
9. A First aid box
Question: What are those three most important items that you would take from the plane to ensure your survival? What did you decide?
The answer- according to the US Military’s top survival expert was as follows:
3. The third most important item was the knife – because it can be used to cut the cactuses to provide drinking water
2. The second most important item is the parachute – because once the plane blows up you will have no shelter from the sun
1. The most important item is the lady’s mirror, because you can use it to reflect the sun and so attract the attention of any plane sent out to look for you.
2. Yeshua (Jesus) declared that he was a light to the world – John 8.12
3. Consider the Light for us:
I. Antidote to Darkness – John 8.1-12
[Broad Level – Good vs. Evil]
A. The Cancerous Tumor of Sin (takes on many aspects) – Psalm 74.20
Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
1. A story of immorality
2. A story of judgment
3. A story of entrapment
4. A story of forgiveness
B. The Conflict of Treacherous Sinners (John 8.12-20)
1. Feast of Tabernacles (7.2) – ceremony in court of the women with brightly lit Menorah
2. Light represents the presence of God
a. Burning bush
b. Fiery Pillar
3. Yeshua (Jesus) Compares himself to God’s light -- guidance
II. Assistance to the Blind – John 9.1-12 (especially v. 5)
[Rose Crawford Story (from Sermon, “ I Am the Light of the World” by Michael Wiley)
Rose Crawford had been blind for 50 years. Then she had an operation in an Ontario hospital. She said, “I just can’t believe it,” as the doctor lifted the bandages from her eyes. She wept - when for the 1st time in her life she saw a dazzling and beautiful world of form and color greeted her eyes and she could now see.
The amazing thing about her story, however, was that 20 years of her blindness was unnecessary. She didn’t know that surgical techniques had been developed, and that an operation could have restored her vision at the age of 30.
The Dr. said, “She just figured there was nothing that could be done for her condition. Much of her life could have been different.”
The Significance of Spit
Now why did Jesus spit in the blind man’s eyes? This is similar to another time when he spit in some dust and made clay, with which he anointed blind eyes (Mark 7:33). If a modern evangelist or missionary followed Jesus’ example in this, how well received would it be?
Jesus, contrary to what many modern commentators suggest, was not adverse to following tradition, so long as it did not render the word of God "of none effect." From ancient times in Judaism, there was a tradition that the saliva of the first-born son of a father had healing properties. Writes A. Cohen, "For eye-trouble spittle was commonly used, but we are told there is a tradition that the spittle of the first-born son of a father has healing powers…" (Everyman’s Talmud, p. 253).
A. Blindness of Ignorance – the Progression
1. Unaware of Yeshua (Jesus)
2. Believed in his healing – 9.24-34
3. Believed in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah – 9.35-39