Faithlife Sermons

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*Jesus the Light of the World*
John 8:12–24
Read John 8:12-20 in ESV.
This discourse continues Jesus’ public teaching in the city of Jerusalem in the temple area.
The event described here took place during the Feast of Tabernacles, when the large lamps were burning.
On the evening of the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles there was a ceremony called The Illumination of the Temple.
It took place in the Court of the Women.
The court was surrounded with deep galleries, erected to hold the spectators.
In the centre four great candelabra were prepared.
When the dark came the four great candelabra were lit and, it was said, they sent such a blaze of light throughout Jerusalem that every courtyard was lit up with their brilliance.
Then all night long, until cock-crow the next morning, the greatest and the wisest and the holiest men in Israel danced before the Lord and sang psalms of joy and praise while the people watched.[1]
Again Jesus utilizes a convenient symbol for Himself that is rooted in the O.T. imagery of the wanderings in the wilderness.
In ch.
6 it was the manna, and in ch.
7 it was the water associated with God’s provision from the rock (cf.
Num.
20:8–11).
Now, the lighting of the giant lamps reminded the nation of the pillar of fire which guided them at night (cf.
Ex. 13:21; Num.
9:15–23).
In contrast to the moral darkness of the nation and the world in general, Jesus describes His function as the Light (cf.
1:4, 9), the very revelation and truth of God, and the solution to the evil in mankind and the world.
This is the second great “I am” declaration in John’s Gospel.[2]
What does light do?
What does our Lord do?
Of what is He the light?
Does the average Christian believe that He is the Light /of the world/?
Is this truth found anywhere else in the Bible?
(Luke 1:78, 79; Is. 42:6, 7; 49:6; 60:1, 2.)
* /Jesus the Light of the World, vv.
12–20/
Jesus gave this teaching in the treasury of the temple (see v. 20).
A multitude was still following Him.
He turned to them and made one of the many grand statements as to His Messiahship.
He said, *“I am the light of the world.”*
Naturally speaking, *the world* is in the darkness of sin, ignorance, and aimlessness.
*The light of the world* is Jesus.
Apart from Him, there is no deliverance from the blackness of sin.
Apart from Him, there is no guidance along the way of life, no knowledge as to the real meaning of life and the issues of eternity.
Jesus promised that anyone following Him would *not walk in darkness, but have the light of life*.
Jesus said: “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
/The light of life/ means two things.
*The Greek can mean either the light which issues from the source of life or the light which gives life*.
In this passage it means both.
Jesus is the very light of God come among men; and he is the light which gives men life.
Just as the flower can never blossom when it never sees the sunlight, so our lives can never flower with the grace and beauty they ought to have until they are irradiated with the light of the presence of Jesus.[3]
A believer *will never walk in darkness, *that is, he will not live in it (cf.
12:46; 1 John 1:6-7).
He does not remain in the realm of evil and ignorance (John 12:46) for he has Christ as his *Light *and salvation (cf.
Ps. 36:9).[4]
John 12:46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
1 John 1:5b-7 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
*6 *If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
*7 *But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Psa 36:9 For with you is /o/the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
See Matthew 5:14-16 – Those who follow Jesus are, according to Him, also the light of the world.
We must not hide that light.
What do you think Jesus meant by this?
That utterance shows Him to be one of three things: what are they?
Was our Lord a lunatic?
Was He an impostor?
What then was He?
*Did He say: “I am /a/ light of the world”?
From whom then does the world get all its light?
(Turn to and read - John 1:4, 5, 7–9; John 9:5; John **12:35**) *
Who does John tell us in his epistle is light?
(1 John 1:5.)
If then our Lord is the Light of the world, who is He?
The obvious answer is, He is God.
* /Following Jesus:/
 
When Jesus said, *Whoever follows Me, *He meant whoever believes and obeys Him (cf.
10:4-5, 27; 12:26; 21:19-20, 22).
Jesus was speaking of salvation.
Coming to Christ for salvation results in a different kind of life.
To follow Jesus means to believe on Him.
Many people have the mistaken idea that they can live as Jesus lived without ever being born again.
To follow Jesus means to come to Him in repentance, to trust Him as Lord and Savior, and then to commit one’s whole life to Him.
Those who do this have guidance in life and clear and bright hope beyond the grave.
[5]
In this passage Jesus talks of /following/ himself.
We often speak of following Jesus; we often urge men to do so.
What do we mean*?
The Greek for /to follow/ is **/akolouthein/**; and its meanings combine to shed a flood of light on what it means /to follow/ Jesus.*
/Akolouthein/ has five different but closely connected meanings.
*(i) It is often used of a soldier following his captain*.
On the long route marches, into battle, in campaigns in strange lands, the soldier follows wherever the captain may lead.
The Christian is the soldier whose commander is Christ.
*(ii) It is often used of a slave accompanying his master*.
Wherever the master goes the slave is in attendance upon him, always ready to spring to his service and to carry out the tasks he gives him to do.
He is literally at his master’s beck and call.
The Christian is the slave whose joy it is always to serve Christ.
*(iii) It is often used of accepting a wise counsellor’s opinion*.
When a man is in doubt he goes to the expert, and if he is wise he accepts the judgment he receives.
The Christian is the man who guides his life and conduct by the counsel of Christ.
*(iv) It is often used of giving obedience to the laws of a city or a state*.
If a man is to be a useful member of any society or citizen of any community, he must agree to abide by its laws.
The Christian, being a citizen of the kingdom of heaven, accepts the law of the kingdom and of Christ as the law which governs his life.
*(v) It is often used of following a teacher’s line of argument, or of following the gist of someone’s speech*.
The Christian is the man who has understood the meaning of the teaching of Christ.
He has not listened in dull incomprehension or with slack inattention.
He takes the message into his mind and understands, receives the words into his memory and remembers, and hides them in his heart and obeys.
*To be a follower of Christ is to give oneself body, soul and spirit into the obedience of the Master; and to enter upon that following is to walk in the light.
*When we walk alone we are bound to stumble and grope, for so many of life’s problems are beyond our solution.
When we walk alone we are bound to take the wrong way, because we have no secure map of life.
We need the heavenly wisdom to walk the earthly way.
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