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

May 14, 2017

 

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.

 

As the light Jesus exposed their true nature. Exposes our true nature.

 

He challenges them that they are ignorant.

“Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.” vs. 43

 

He challenges them that they judge only in what they could physically see and touch. They are limited in their humanity.

“You judge according to the flesh…” vs. 15


He challenges them that they have no relationship with God.

“You know neither me nor my Father.” vs. 19

“The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” vs. 47

 

He challenges them that they are destined to die in sin.

“I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” vs. 24

 

He challenges them that they are of this world.

“You are of this world; I am not of this world.” vs. 23

 

He challenged them that the devil is their father and so by nature like their father.

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” vs. 44

 

So, after claiming ‘brand God’ as his sales pitch for being the light of the world, he pokes holes in the customers. But the key here is that what He exposes is true.

“But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” vs. 45

 

And this is how we are all born, ignorant, limited by our humanity, out of relationship with God, destined to die in sin, of this world and a child of the devil and so by nature like the devil.

 

This is the condition that Jesus, as the light, exposes.

 

 And he exposes this through truth. One of the fundamental choices we have is to belief truth or lies. And Jesus, as the light, exposes the lies and reveals the truth.

 

One of the unfortunate aspects of my light source in the bush in Vanuatu was that it was not really the solution I needed. As I am setting up in the long drop by big dilemma was, what do I do with my phone. Can’t really hold it, nervous about propping it up. What I needed was what Ross brought. He had a head lamp. I needed the right solution.

 

Jesus as the light, is the right solution to our condition.

 

JESUS IS OUR MEANS OF KNOWING… vs. 31-38

He is the one who can save us from darkness from our destination of death.

 

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” vs. 31-32

 

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” vs. 36

 

The truth they need, the truth they are battling is a person! Jesus!

Jesus is the truth that reveals the personal Father.

 

Jesus is our means of knowing God. It is the truth about his person and work that saves us.

 

And our responsibility?

“Whoever follows me…” vs. 12

“If you knew me…” vs. 19

“…seek me…” vs. 21

“…unless you believe…” vs. 24

“…if you abide…” vs. 31

“…know the truth…” vs. 32

 

We know God by seeking, knowing, believing, following and abiding in the person and work of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The one who comes to the light, that is, who follows Jesus, will not walk in the darkness. The one who refuses to come, will walk in the darkness. There are only two options.

 

The Pharisees and many Jews were holding on to their lineage to Abraham. Their membership of the Abrahams family was what gave them a relationship to God. But their bloodline will not save them. They are not even showing the faith that Abraham showed. They were unfaithful.

 

To know God requires us to know Jesus who is the light that reveals the Father.

 

We can easily be like the Pharisees and hold on to our Christian lineage. I was brought up in the church, my mum and/or dad are Christians. I have always been saved, haven’t known a time when I wasn’t. This doesn’t mean we know God.

 

We know God by seeking, knowing, believing, following and abiding in the personal and work of Jesus Christ.

 

One thing that became very clear to me during the dark nights in Vanuatu was that I would always need a torch. I would always need light.

 

Jesus is the light that brings us into a relationship with God, but Jesus is also the light that enables us to live in relationship with God.

 

JESUS IS OUR MEANS OF LIVING IN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD… vs 12

When we are saved, we receive the light of life, the light of the world.

 

As we learned in John 6:63

The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.

 

The light of life.

A personal relationship with God.

A personal relationship of ongoing discipleship with God.

 

As we have been seeing repeatedly across our study in John. A life that is…

  • Eternal

  • Healing

  • Satisfying

  • New

  • Of the Spirit

  • Sets us free

 

Jesus, "the Light of life" possesses the life of God and gives it to those who the Father calls.

 

This light of life is an ever-deepening relationship with God through Jesus, the light of the world.

We…

  • “…belong(s) to God…” vs.47

 

And our responsibility…

  • “hold to my teachings…” vs. 31

  • “…hears what God says…” vs.46

  • “…obeys my words…” vs. 51

  • “…obey his word.” vs. 55

 

Jesus provides us with the perfect model of the light of life. Why because he is the light of life.

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

 

If there is one thing we can learn from the people who Jesus interreacted with across this book, it is that they asked questions. They asked the ultimate question…

“Who are you?” vs. 25

“Who is Jesus?”

 

Do you know Jesus?

Do you know the light of life?

 

If you answered NO to that question, please come and talk to me after the service so I can share with you who Jesus is. You need the light.

 

Do you know Jesus?

Do you know the light of life?

 

If you answer YES to that question, are your growing in your knowledge and experience of the light of life?

 

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19

 

Is that your ongoing experience? The very Jesus that saves us, is the same Jesus who enables us to live and grow in the Christian walk in the power and provision of the Holy Spirit.

 

The very truth that saves us, is the same truth that enables us to live and grow in the Christian walk in the power and provision of the Holy Spirit.

 

The very light of life that saves us, is the same light of life that enables us to live and grow in the Christian walk in the power and provision of the Holy Spirit.

 

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

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