JESUS: THE LIGHT OF LIFE - John 8:12-59


Jesus, the light, is our means of seeing, and by seeing knowing and living in relationship with God.

Let’s set the scene…

Jesus is speaking in the treasury in the temple (vs. 20) during or just after the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. A celebration that was to commemorate God’s provision for His people while in the wilderness. During this celebration, they have the lighting of the four huge lamps in the temple’s court of women and some enthusiastic celebrating that takes place under theses lights. And under the glow of these lights, Jesus declares to the people, I am the light of the world.

Following this amazing statement, we get to read of a great debate between Jesus and the Pharisees. Where Jesus again seeks to answer the question, “Who am I?”

"I am the light of the world!"

Jesus, the light, is our means of seeing, and by seeing knowing and living in relationship with God.

As many of you would know, a number of us late last year went on a mission trip to Vanuatu to serve with Matt & Lydia Meads. While up in the mountains in the Karia Community, we slept in tents, cooked over an open fire, washed and cleaned via a bucket shower and our toilet was long drop. All good learning experiences. Now with the change of diet, it was two days before I had the privilege of visiting the long drop. And as circumstance would have it, it was in the early hours of the morning. Now the thing is at night, it is pitch black. This night it was an overcast night and I needed to go. Not a problem except that I hadn’t brought a torch with me.

At that moment, I appreciated the true value of light.

At that moment, I could do with the light of the world. Any light. I was in complete darkness.

JESUS IS THE LIGHT… vs. 12-30

What a remarkable statement.

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

As I was lying in my tent in the darkness, thinking about how I was going to make my perilous trip to the long drop, I thought about all the touches I could have brought with me. Many of those infomercials came flooding back.

  • The indestructible torch

  • The long life battery torch

  • The torch which is also a saw, hammer and bouncy device.

So how does Jesus sell himself as the light of the world. This would have to be one awesome sales pitch.

So why is Jesus the only true light for this world?

  • HE IS FROM THE FATHER This is not a new claim, Jesus has been repeatedly revealing that he is from God the Father as we have been reading throughout our John series, and he continues here… “…the Father who sent me.” vs. 16 “…the Father who sent me…” vs. 18 “…he who sent me…” vs. 26 “…he who sent me…” vs. 29 Jesus is from God. Sent by God the Father as part of his divine purpose and plan. And as is the pattern with the large proportion of the Pharisees, they didn’t understand. They asked questions like… “Where is your Father?” vs. 19 And we read… “They did not understand that he (Jesus) had been speaking to them about the Father.” vs. 27

So why is Jesus the only true light for this world?

  • HE IS BACKED BY THE FATHER “In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” vs. 17-18 Every good product needs testimonials, endorsements. Jesus is backed, endorsed by God. You want someone to confirm that I am who I say I am, God the Father does.

So why is Jesus the only true light for this world?

  • HE IS ONE WITH THE FATHER “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” vs. 58 Jesus claim, that He was pre-existent Deity. He was the great “I AM” who introduced Himself to Moses via a burning bush. The Pharisees could see, but not accept what he was saying, as we read in John 5:18… “…he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” Always a good sales pitch, claim to be the original source of light.

So why is Jesus the only true light for this world?

  • HE SPEAKS THE FATHERS WORD “…and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” vs. 26 “…that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.” vs. 28 “I speak of what I have seen with my Father…” vs. 38 “…a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.” vs. 40 Jesus claim, that He was quoting God the Father. What he said came directly from God. It was the heart and mind of God. Always a good sales pitch to quote the maker.

Ultimately Jesus sales pitch for being the light of the world was to claim ‘brand God’.

Jesus is the light of the world because he comes from the Father, is backed by the Father, is one with the Father, and speaks for the Father.

Jesus speaks from God and for God and as God for he is God.

Jesus is the light. He is the true source of light. He is the only source of light for life.

Obviously light helps us see. In the end, I used my phone light to get me to the long drop. I was pleased to be able to see where I was going. It showed me obstacles, it showed me which direction, It showed me where the horses was that was snuffling around my tent, it was especially helpful when it came to setting up in the long drop. It let me see.

Jesus is the only true means of seeing!

JESUS IS OUR MEANS OF SEEING… vs. 39-47

Jesus shows us our true condition. The obstacle that stands in the way of our ability to have life, true life.

The purpose of light is to break into the darkness. To reveal what is hidden. To expose what was in the shadows. And Jesus is blunt with the Pharisees. Pretty offensive stuff form the Pharisees point of view.