“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’ The Pharisees therefore said to Him, ‘You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.’” (John 8:12-13 NKJV)
After the Pharisees went skedaddling when Jesus called out their sins while forgiving the woman caught in adultery, Jesus found them again and made a bold proclamation about Himself. He claimed to be the light of the world. The Pharisees, perhaps still smarting from their recent defeat, shot back. If they spoke Texan, they’d have said that Jesus was “all hat and no cattle.” But, when they told Him that He couldn’t say that about Himself, Jesus let them know that it wasn’t bragging if He could back it up, and that His Father, God, also bore witness to this truth. All frivolity aside, this passage is an important truth that relates to the theme of all that John wrote about. After an amazing picture of forgiveness, Jesus broke the message down into light and darkness. Jesus, the one who forgives, is light; the Pharisees, the ones who judge, are darkness. You can accept the forgiveness of Jesus and walk in the light, or you can seek the approval of the judges and live in the dark.
While I used one attribute of Jesus in my description above, I think it’s interesting that this statement about being “light” coming right after this amazing story of forgiveness is significant. Those who are stuck in their sins are wandering in darkness. Often they have no hope and can’t see a way out of their situation. God’s forgiveness shines a light on their sin and offers them hope in the form of a relationship with God. Light breaks through darkness, but the Pharisees, on seeing the light of Christ, sought to block it out with the barriers of the law and eventually disconnect the power, only to find out that when the power returned, it was brighter than ever. The ultimate witness of the Father and of the Son to the light of Christ is found in the resurrection. Even after hearing Jesus teach; even after condemning Him to death; even after the resurrection, they wouldn’t step into the light. We can choose to remain in the darkness of our sin, or we can accept God’s forgiveness and walk in the light.
Lord, thank You for the Light. Thank You for forgiving me and welcoming me into Your fellowship. Let me life reflect the light of Your love and forgiveness to a world walking in darkness.