Follow The Light
Read John 8:12-14 (ESV)
Again Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.”
By claiming to be “the light of the world” what was Jesus really claiming? What was the promise to those who follow Him?
In literature, there is a familiar analogy: light is good and darkness is evil; light is truth and darkness is lies; light is joy and darkness is sadness; light is life and darkness is death. When we go back to the Bible, we see the same analogy but add: light is related to God and darkness is related to the evil one.
When the Israelites escaped Egypt during the Exodus, God went ahead of them, leading them as a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21-22). He was the literal light in the darkness and if they would simply follow Him, they would make it out alive. They would be saved, they would be safe, and they would be free from tyranny and oppression. Following God’s light would lead them out of the evil darkness.
In today’s verses, Jesus is again addressing the religious leaders in the temple courts. When He declared that He is the light of the world, they recognized what He was implying—Jesus was claiming to be God.
With all of the signs and miracles that Jesus had worked so far, you’d think they might feel compelled to at least consider His claim. But the Pharisees did not want to consider His claim, they wanted to discredit it. So when Jesus said that He is the light of the world, they mocked Him and accused Him of testifying about Himself. It seems as if they were trying to use His own words against Him in order to nullify the claim that He was making.
You see, back in John 5:31, Jesus said, “If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true.” Jesus then went on to cite John the Baptist, Jesus’ works and miracles, God the Father Himself, and the Scriptures as witnesses that testify that He is from God (John 5:31-40). Jesus had far more witnesses than His own claims to deity. Jesus was not the only one testifying about Himself.
But Jesus’ response was that even if He was the only witness, His testimony would still be true because He knew where He was from—heaven. He knew where He was going—heaven. And He knew who He was—God in the flesh. Jesus knew the words that He spoke were true because He Himself is the truth. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).
The apostle Paul wrote: “for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). Jesus is the light of the world! For those of us who are already in Christ, there is no longer any need to stumble around in the dark trying to find our way. He lights our path and He is the way. Following the Light leads to everlasting life.
What about you? Have you chosen to follow the Light of the world or are you still fumbling around in the dark?
Lord, I don’t want to stumble around on my own in the dark. The darkness is evil. I want to be in the light as You are in the light (1 John 1:7). Help me to walk as a child of light and point others to You so that they can find life. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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