Figuratively, He boldly drew the line in the sand a little bit deeper.
Jesus had previously declared to the crowd that He is Living Water. Consequently some decided to follow Him while others became hostile. The people were divided.
So He made another “I Am” revelation…When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “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.
Jesus was teaching in an area of the temple that was near the place where offerings were made. It was known as the Treasury, found within the Court of Women. In this section of the temple, there were four giant stands, each holding four large golden bowls filled with oil. Imagine old world chandeliers with an impact.
The lamps were lit to commemorate God’s faithful presence as the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites through the Wilderness, away from the land where they were held as slaves, into the Promised Land. When lit at night, the light would engulf the entire temple and extend into the city of Jerusalem.
Surrounded by this bright light, Jesus intentionally chose the dramatic moment to declare Himself to be the One promised in Zechariah’s prophesy…the rising sun who would come from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace (Luke 1:78-79). And the One whom the the young Jewish children sang about when they memorized the first verse of Psalm 27. The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The crowd knew Jesus was claiming deity. And once again, some challenged Him. But…many put their faith in him. John 8:30
One thing that fascinates me is how Scripture explains Scripture. Romans 12:20 tells us For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse. In the creation story, the very first thing God commanded was “Let there be light” and there was light. The first way He creatively began revealing His invisible qualities is through light.
Interesting thought…Scientists discovered that the entire light spectrum ranges from ultraviolet light, which our human eyes cannot see, to infrared light, which we also cannot see. In the middle of this range lies visible light. Science has proven that just because our eyes cannot detect the far ranges of light, it does exist! And I say that just because we cannot see our invisible God, He exists with eternal power and divine nature.
Light is a bit mysterious. I don’t think we fully understand everything there is to know about it. We know that it is necessary for life and that whenever it is present, darkness disappears. It’s an absolute measure of speed. It produces energy. It exposes danger. And even though I don’t understand it fully and know its value completely, it remains trustworthy. I may be prone to take it for granted but I can count on it. And I am happiest when the sun is shining.
Same is true of Jesus. I don’t understand everything about Him and His ways (which is why I’m forever studying!). He is necessary for spiritual life. Darkness is dispelled by His presence. He is my standard. And He is trustworthy. Alas, I’m also prone to taking Him for granted. And I am happiest when I’m cognizant of His light shining.
Another thing light does—it makes everything visible…including our sins. But that’s a good thing too. It leads us to see ourselves clearly and recognize Jesus as the Savior.
Something else that amazes me is that Jesus transfers His light to His followers. He says, “You are the light of the world..let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
On the darkest of nights, we can look into the heavens and see a beautiful moon. It seems to shine brightly but in reality, it merely reflects a small portion of light from the sun. We too are to reflect our God and shine brightly. Why? Not so we are noticed and admired, but so that our beloved Father in heaven is praised. He’s the One shining! He’s the One worthy!
Thoughts to ponder:
Where do I recognize Jesus as the Light of the world?
Where am I responding with His light in this world?