“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.” John 8.12-20
Now that’s a bold statement Jesus! Calling yourself the light of the world. How bold and brash. The arrogance! That is, unless it’s true. If Jesus’ statement is false than he’s full of himself, crazy in every way. But if it’s true than imagine the possibilities for humanity!
For the past several days, Jesus has been hanging around the Temple courts. Preaching, teaching and healing. After the interchange with the adulterous woman and the Pharisees, Jesus continues offering truth to the very people who will reject and crucify him. He has no other choice. For this is why he was sent.
But then the question comes up as to his testimony and how he is the only witness to the claims he is making about being the light of the world. The Pharisees question him on this and then he begins to talk about how according to the Law of Moses a testimony is valid with two witnesses. He is one, God is the other.
This of course rankles their hides for sure! Now the Pharisees are seen going against God? Jesus makes statements like, “I stand with the Father who sent me,” and “the other witness is the Father.” To which the Pharisees ask, “Who is your Father?” Jesus’ retort is stinging yet true — “You do not know…my Father.” Finally, the Scripture tells us Jesus is teaching about these things in the temple courts near where the offerings are put. Yet., because it was not his time, no one seized him.
Jesus was more at home in the temple than anyone else every could be. He was at his Fathers’ house and spoke truth about himself and about his Father God. His claims to be the light of the world either bring hope to the hearers or lunacy. I choose to believe in the one sent from Heaven who beings light to the darkness and hope to the hopeless.
Just as Jesus faced opposition, so too will we face doubters when proclaiming his word. it won’t be the most popular message out there. People will fill sports stadiums, internet bloggers and radical politicians for their entertainment and sensationalism. But all will lead to emptiness, dissatisfaction and death. In contrast, Jesus leads to life.
Why not choose to follow the one who makes outrageous claims about himself? Claims that have already given life to millions both dead and alive today.
“O Lord God, you are the light of life! If we follow you we will never walk in darkness. Come, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. When my love fails, renew my heart for you. Remind me of your promises not only for this life but for the life to come. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen