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.” (
One tremendous theme threads its way through the Gospel of John—the deity of Christ. John wants us to know Jesus is more than a carpenter, greater than even the greatest of men, that He is indeed the Son of God. Three wonderful words are woven into the text—light, life, and love. Each one describes the essence of the Father and the Son. Seven supernatural signs are selected by the writer to stress Christ’s deity. Then, we have seven sublime statements where Jesus used the phrase, “I am,” which the Jews understood as the name of God, as He revealed Himself to Moses—thus, Jesus was claiming to be God Incarnate. One of those statements is, “I am the light of the world.”
First, we consider THE LIGHT AS IT WAS REVEALED. The purpose of light is to reveal—to shine out and to show up a thing. Christ shines out the person of God. When He claims to be the Light, He claims to be God. Is He a liar, lunatic, or Lord? Those are the only options. He is either a deceiver, delusional or Deity. John was an eyewitness to His glory revealed on the
. Paul saw that Light and said He is the image
of the invisible God ( Mt. of Transfiguration Col.1:15),
and Hebrews 1:3
speaks of, “the brightness of His glory
and the express image of His person….”
Christ shows up the path to God.
As the glory cloud led the Israelites through the wilderness, so Christ
is the Light of the world to guide us to God (see 2 Cor.4:6).
Next, we note THE LIGHT AS IT WAS RECEIVED. Consider the context. As the
of God is branded by brightness, the is dominated by darkness. The previous verses tell the story of a woman
caught in the act of adultery, but the light of Christ shone upon her and
changed her life forever. In the next
chapter, we read of a man blind from birth.
That is the spiritual condition of all in this world by virtue of their
physical birth who need a spiritual birth to open their eyes to the light of
truth and life (see kingdom of Satan John 1:4-13). When the blind man received Christ, he became
a new person. Christ can break the
bondage of darkness in your life and bring you into new life in Him! It is the dawn of a new day.
Sadly, we find THE LIGHT AS IT WAS REJECTED. So many reject the Light because of an obstinate darkness (
8:13-19). The darkness of
unbelief is a stubborn thing (v.23-24).
At last, these who spurned the Light and sought the darkness committed
the sin for which there is no forgiveness (8:48). Christ offered Himself as their King, and
they would cry, “We have no king but
Caesar!” (19:15). Jesus demonstrated
the credibility of His claims by the miracles He performed, but they attributed
it to the power of Satan. Their
obstinate darkness would take them into outer darkness. That is how Jesus described hell—a dark pit
of torment where the light of life is shut off—a second death; a place where
the light of love is shut out—away from God’s gracious presence.
None have to go there. The hymn beckons, “Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee....” Have you? Will you?