Faithlife Sermons

Light of the World

John 8 : 12 - 20  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:46
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INTRO
If you remember last week, we came to a familiar story in the Bible...
One that we’ve all heard before - the story of the Woman Caught in Adultery, brought before Jesus.
And what we learned right off the bat was that this story is not believed to be original to John, the author of this gospel.
This story is not found in the earliest manuscripts, but instead found in later ones...
AND SO we approached the text last week with that in mind.
We didn’t BASE any theology on the story alone…INSTEAD we saw that the story simply highlighted TRUTH found throughout the Bible...
Truth about forgiveness...
…Christ as judge
…and truth about Obedience flowing from a Foundation of Grace...
With that said - I do have a regret from last weeks sermon.
I wish that I had held off on walking thru that story last week...
and maybe even waited till the end of chapter 8.
As we talked about last week, the story of the Adulterous Woman BROKE UP the flow of the text...
And we’ll see that this week.
This week - Our context is going to place us BACK AT the Feast of Tabernacles...
…in the temple, with Jesus teaching the Jews.
So let’s get to it.
BODY
John 8:12–20 ESV
12 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.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 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. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
The first thing we should notice here is found actually in this last verse....v20.
Where did Jesus speak these words?
He was in the TREASURY
OK - so let’s fill in some gaps here with info about the TREASURY...
SLIDE: Pic of Temple
One of the things that people did when they came to the temple was - Give Money
The treasury would have been located in the Temple - in what was called - The Court of Women...
SIZE: Football Field
...Women couldn't enter into the next inner court beyond the court of women... ...so that was where the Giving took place.
they wanted both men and women to be able to give
And around the porch of the court of women there were 13 places to give money...
And every one of them would have been in use due to the feast - 10's of thousands of people would have been there..
During the feast of tabernacles, if you remember, they performed 3 rites...
One pertaining to water, which we've talked about...
One pertaining to the RISING SUN
And one pertaining to light...
What we've seen so far from Jesus Christ...
is that He takes all of what we know about life in this world...and He points it ALL to HIMSELF!\
With the water ritual - He stood up and declared to the people of Israel - I am the Fountain of Living Water...Come to me and never thirst
Earlier in John - with the reference to the Manna in the wilderness - He declared - I am the BREAD of Life...
And now in our text today - He declares - in the Treasury....I am the light of the world!
During the feast of Tabernacles, huge candelabras were set up all throughout the court of women...Remember - this court is about the size of a football field. And so every night of this feast, they would go all throughout the court, and light these candelabras.
And they would burn all night...
What did this represent?
Remember what the feast of tabernacles commemorated?
The wandering in the wilderness
What do we know about the wandering?
Exodus 13:21–22 ESV
21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. 22 The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.
So God led the people through the wilderness using LIGHT...And the way the people commemorated that was to LIGHT these huge candelabras every night of the feast...
And at some point during the feast....
One night - maybe right after they lit up the court of women...
OR
One morning - maybe right after they put them all out...
At some point - Jesus stands up and says...
John 8:12 ESV
12 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.”
And the leaders knew what He meant... SLIDE:  Jesus Christ:  The Light to Be Followed

Jesus Christ

Jesus isn't merely a light to be looked at...
He didn't say - I am "A" light in the world...
He said - I am THE light of the world..."WHOEVER FOLLOWS Me will not walk in darkness"!
What do we know about light...?
it - DISPELS darkness!
Jesus says - I will DISPEL the darkness of:
ignorance: (without Christ, we're fools) - (If you give up Jesus intellectually, you have no justification for math, science, laws of logic, none of it)
sin:  (without Christ, we're guilty) - (if you REJECT Jesus Christ, you embrace guilt before God)
sadness / sorrow (without Christ, we're hopeless) - (if you REJECT Jesus Christ, you embrace hopelessness)
death (without Christ, we're dead) - (If you REJECT Jesus Christ, you embrace death and destruction)
Jesus says - don't just KNOW who I am...FOLLOW ME...
Follow Me and I'll lead you to eternal life...
but what does it mean to follow?
Let’s actually go back and LOOK BACK to what the Feast of Tabernacles was commemorating...
It was celebrating God’s PROVISION in the wandering...
So let’s FOCUS in on that…to see what it means to - FOLLOW CHRIST
Numbers 9:18–22 ESV
18 At the command of the Lord the people of Israel set out, and at the command of the Lord they camped. As long as the cloud rested over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. 19 Even when the cloud continued over the tabernacle many days, the people of Israel kept the charge of the Lord and did not set out. 20 Sometimes the cloud was a few days over the tabernacle, and according to the command of the Lord they remained in camp; then according to the command of the Lord they set out. 21 And sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning. And when the cloud lifted in the morning, they set out, or if it continued for a day and a night, when the cloud lifted they set out. 22 Whether it was two days, or a month, or a longer time, that the cloud continued over the tabernacle, abiding there, the people of Israel remained in camp and did not set out, but when it lifted they set out.
What we need to see from these passages is that the Israelites were in complete submission to the guidance of the cloud (God).
Where it went, they went.
Where it stayed, they stayed.
If you want to live a life that is glorifying to God,
• then He MUST BE in His proper place!
• Out front…leading you.
• BUT we fight that don’t we?
• Oh we might be fine with Him steering as long as things are GREAT! (Job is good, finances, relationships are great)
• BUT THEN...
• Your seemingly steady job GOES SOUTH...
• AND your finances go down with the ship...
• Maybe a relationship takes a bad turn...
• Then what?
• Don't we so often want to take control and get our lives back on track!???
• You might be saying - well i think so, but what does that look like..?
• Here's what it might look like:
• Your Schedule is JAMMED...
• You barely find time in the day to take a shower...
• AND THEN...
• Church decides to put on an event! And they.need.help!
• So, your schedule is JAMMED, and instead of trying to HEAR God in the situation...
• The first response is - NO WAY...CAN'T do it!*
• An instance where you may be trying to take control of the wheel is when you say - No way...Can't do it...AND you say it without being still...and trying to examine where you are at Spiritually.
• See, here's the thing...
• MAYBE God could be saying to you - "Hey...pss, I want you to REPRIORITIZE your schedule...your schedule is full of 'STUFF' that is HINDERING your walk with me...
• your schedule is full of stuff that is keeping you on the treadmill....getting you nowhere.
• "I want to see if you will get rid of some of THAT STUFF...and fill that time with KINGDOM work"
• God will use circumstances to see how we respond...
• To see if we'll submit!
to see if we’ll LET HIM LEAD
to see if we will follow
• Now - Everything in us fights against that.
• And yet…that’s how God works.
Jesus Himself speaks to His proper place in the life of a Christian:
Matthew 10:38 ESV
38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 16:24 ESV
24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
Based on this, not only is Christ’s proper place in front of us leading us, but it’s the ONLY place He resides in the life of a Christian.
Out front…leading.
THIS IS what it means to FOLLOW Jesus -
And this idea of FOLLOWING - is used in Scripture a variety of different ways...
To FOLLOW - is to:
follow as a soldier follows his commander (in allegiance)
follow as slave follows his master (in submission)
follow as an ignorant person follows a wise counselor (in dependence upon)
follow as a disobedient sinner turns to follow the law obediently
follow as a student follows the teacher's line of reasoning and argument
follow as a son follows his father (in love)
To FOLLOW Christ is to fully follow Him
It’s to follow Him with everything that we are!
And so it’s with our Intellect that we should follow Jesus...
Our talents should follow Jesus
Our speech should follow Jesus
Our emotions should follow Jesus
Everything we are....
This is what He was calling them to...
AND - He was making a direct claim to BEING God and BEING the MESSIAH...
in Isaiah 42, 49, 50, and 53, you have Messianic chapters of Isaiah in which the Messiah is called the slave of Yahweh or the servant of Jehovah. 
Isaiah 42:6 ESV
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
“As a light to the nations.  To open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon, and those who dwell in darkness from the prison.  I am the Lord.  That is my name.” 
He says that the servant of Jehovah, the Messiah, will be the light of the world. 
Isaiah 49:5 ESV
5 And now the Lord says, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him; and that Israel might be gathered to him— for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord, and my God has become my strength—
He then says this in v6
Isaiah 49:6 ESV
6 he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
This is from God. 
Messiah will be the light of the world. 
When Jesus says, “I am the light of the world,”he is making the claim to be the prophesied Messiah.
And the LEADERS there that day - knew it!
And we hear it in their response to Christ...
John 8:13 ESV
13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.”
They’re saying - You’re testifying about YOURSELF!
You’re just BOASTING in yourself!
Why should we believe you?
There are no witnesses to your claims!!
WHO can back up what You’re saying?
Now the Pharisees could have been thinking back to what Christ said back in chapter 7...
John 7:18 ESV
18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
Jesus says this a little bit ago...
BUT then begins BEARING witness about Himself…speaking on His own authority!
The problem is - the Pharisees didn’t KNOW who Jesus was...
They were trying to USE THE LAW against the LAW GIVER...
And so Jesus responds...
John 8:14–18 ESV
14 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. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”
So Christ re-establishes the fact that He’s not on the wrong side of the Law...
BUT this says more about the Pharisees...
Christ reveals here - the ignorance of the Pharisees!
next verse...
John 8:19 ESV
19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
So yes - while Christ is a LIGHT worthy to follow!
UNBELIEF - does not follow....
BUT - we need to know something about UNBELIEF...
SLIDE: Unbelief: Rooted in Rebellion, Not Ignorance

Unbelief

Remember what Jesus said back in chapter 7...
John 7:17 ESV
17 If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.
Jesus is saying - if you’re WILLING to know the truth - you’ll know the truth...
If you’re willing - you will KNOW the teaching...
He’s saying - their UNBELIEF wasn’t rooted in ignorance...
They WEREN’T WILLING!!
If they WERE willing to know truth, then their UNBELIEF - WOULD be rooted in IGNORANCE...
to where if they OVERCAME that ignorance by gaining knowledge, then they’d just believe!
Their ISSUE wasn’t a LACK OF KNOWLEDGE...
They simply WEREN’T WILLING to know Christ!!
They wanted Him - DEAD!
THINK ABOUT IT - these Pharisees had all the same KNOWLEDGE of Christ…as the Disciples did...
Both groups:
saw Jesus face-to-face
heard Him speak
heard WHAT He said / HOW He said it
But what was the difference??
Some were WILLING…and others weren’t!
**You ever know someone who had been given SO MUCH light (truth) - and yet - UNBELIEF!
**And yet others who seemingly turn to Christ after hearing about Him for the first time?
what’s the difference?
Some are WILLING and some are NOT!
Some EMBRACE Christ
Some WALK AWAY
These Pharisees in this story here - they WEREN’T WILLING…in rebellion against Christ!
And so as we look back at this story...
We see Christ use the Feast of Tabernacles as an opportunity to show ISRAEL that ALL that had happened in the Exodus Wandering...
ALL that they were CELEBRATING in the past - was now IN FULFILLMENT - standing before them
SUMMARY
SLIDE: Jesus Christ: The Light of the World

Jesus Christ

THAT ALL they were celebrating in the past...
…was a foreshadowing of a GREATER PROVISION by God!
…That ALL of it - pointed to Jesus Christ…the coming Messiah!
That HE was the SALVATION to come!
And so for us today - as we HEAR this story…
And we HEAR AGAIN the call of Christ to FOLLOW HIM....as we walk out these doors...
WHAT can we take with us?
Let’s LEARN from those in the wandering...
Here’s something we can learn from them...
SLIDE: Instant Obedience
1. Instant obedience – Sometimes God moves quickly, and sometimes He moves more slowly. Notice the text explains that sometimes the cloud would remain only for a night, and then be moving again the following morning.
• The Israelites would be moving, over hard terrain for a long period, and then the cloud would settle.
Imagine the joy of the Israelites when they could settle down and relax. Only to find the next morning they were on the move again.
Frustration?
• Sometimes the cloud would remain for a year, and the Israelites would remain there until it moved again.
• There’s a sense here that we should always be prepared to be moved by God.
• That we should never idolize the places we find ourselves, regardless if where that is.
• Maybe you JUST got a raise...
• Don't think that BECAUSE you JUST got that raise, that God's plan is that you'll still be in that position next year...next month....TOMORROW!
• We should ALWAYS be seeking the Lord's will...even on a day-to-day....moment-by-moment basis.
• We should ALWAYS be asking ourselves - Ok, Lord what do you want me to do...RIGHT NOW...
• Don't get me wrong - yes be happy that God has provided for us, but also be ready to move on IF HE SO CALLS.
• What else can we learn from the Israelites?
SLIDE: God works in all places
2. God Works in ALL Places! – Sometimes the cloud would remain in a place for a long time. Israel camped for nearly a year at Mt. Sinai.
• a. But even though God wasn’t moving, that didn’t mean that God wasn’t working.
• i. In this time at Mt. Sinai, God gave the Israelites the ten Commandments, the Law, the priesthood, the tabernacle.
• ii. God is OFTEN working in the quiet times.
• iii. It’s in these quiet times that we should obey the Lord and hold true to Him.
God works in 6 Million dollar churches, in basements of homes, in underground churches in China, and in caves in Africa.
He works in jobs you can’t stand, in jobs you love, in sickness and in health...
AND - He works in the waiting...
His purposes will be done.
Always be prepared to Obey...
God works in all places...
We would do well to remember...
Let’s pray
Have a Great Week
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