The Light of the World

By Not Known

The Temple precincts at Jerusalem were brightly lighted up by four great candelabra to celebrate the Feast of the Tabernacles. It was against this backdrop that Jesus proclaimed: “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)

Earlier in John 7: 37-38, Jesus had barely escaped arrest when He called for the thirsty to come to Him and drink, promising that living water would flow out of those who believed in Him.

So His claim now seemed all the more blatant as Jesus turned His audience’s attention onto His very person. For in the Old Testament, God is His people’s light (Ps 27:1; Isa 60:19; Mic 7:8b) and they enjoy grace and peace in the light of His presence (Num 6: 24- 25). In it too, the Servant of the Lord is depicted as a light to the nations (Isa 42:6; 49: 6) and God’s word or law a light to the path of the obedient (Ps 119: 105; Pro 6: 23)

Embodying all these ancient claims, Jesus’ proclamation was that He gives light to the entire world (not just the Temple area) and directs all aspects of human life, both Jew and Gentile. By so doing too, Jesus deliberately struck out His neck for those He came to save — a second time.

The immediate response from His audience was sadly to challenge the validity of Jesus’ testimony (John 8: 13- 19), even though subsequently many put their faith in Him (John 8: 30)

Yes, it may be legitimate, and even prudent to challenge Jesus then. But what about those who continued to challenge Jesus well after He had amply and graphically illustrated His proclamation by healing the man born blind (John 9: 1- 34)

They had become blind when they flatly denied the reality they had witnessed with their own eyes. They had literally refused to see the Light or acknowledge Him.

Such was the blindness that would later lead these people to crucify Jesus. In the very words of our Lord: “If you were blind, you would not be guild of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9: 41)

Would that be you?