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Jun 20, 2021

Scripture Reading: John 8:12-30

One of the hallmarks of the gospel of John is the "I am" statements of Jesus. There are seven of them and only John has them in this form … "I am the bread of life" (Jn 6:48) … "I am the Good Shepherd" (Jn 10:11) … "I am the true Vine" (Jn 15:1). In today's passage Jesus says, "I am the light of the world" (Jn 8:12).

Light, in the Bible, is associated with several things. Intellectually, light is truth and darkness is error. "Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path" (Psa 119:105; cf. Psa 43:3). Morally, light is holiness and darkness is evil. "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (Jn 3:19; cf. Rom 13:12-14). Spiritually, light is life and darkness is death.

Christ has come "to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Lk 1:79; cf. Mk 4:16).

In the conversation which follows John 8:12, it is clear that the Pharisees do not grasp the meaning of almost anything Jesus is saying. They are utterly earthbound because they do not truly know God. "You neither know me nor my Father . . . You are from below . . . You are of this world" (Jn 8:19,23).

The warrant for Jesus claiming to be the light of the world is His relationship to God the Father as God the Son. Let all the world stand in awe of Him who not only gives light but is light. To have the light of life is to have Jesus Himself. This is life and joy and peace and hope.