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John 8:12-14

The Light of Life

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.


This passage seems to be out of place with the preceding one, because it shows Jesus once again speaking to the Pharisees after they had left the room. We must assume that the Pharisees came back later that day to try and find some other way to trap Him. The wicked never rest in their attempts to put out the light of holiness.

Then Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." Of course, we have read in John 1:9 that Jesus was the light of men, but those were John's words. Again, in 3:19, Jesus alluded to Himself as the light, but that was only to Nicodemus. Now He announces it for all of the religious rulers to hear.

"I am the light of the world." If they looked for something that they could label as blasphemous, Jesus seemed willing to give it to them. They all knew that this referred to the Lord, the Messiah, and their God. (See Psa 27:1; Isa 9:2, Isa 42:6-7, Isa 49:6, Isa 60:1-3, 19; Mal 4:2;) Jesus could be their strength, would open the eyes of the blind, would release the prisoners of darkness, would restore Israel to its place as God's people, and would be the light to the Gentiles. < a name="read">

He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness..." Jesus gave the Pharisees an invitation to follow Him and the assurance that they would never walk in darkness again. The invitation is extended to all of mankind. Jesus is our opportunity to come out of the darkness of ignorance and sin and out of the bondage and blindness that sin imposes on us. He invites us to walk in the newness of life that comes from the knowledge of God and from an intimate relationship with Him. He invites us to an eternal life with Him instead of eternal condemnation apart from Him.

The Pharisees were those, however, who preferred the darkness to the light. They could not argue with His claims so they changed the subject. "Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true." It was part of the Jewish law that no man could testify on His own behalf without two or three witnesses.

Jesus himself had said in John 5:31, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true." Now He seemed to contradict Himself, but we must look at the circumstances. In 5:31, Jesus was speaking to them as a man, who could do nothing by Himself unless the Father directed Him. Now He is speaking to them as the Almighty God, the light of the world, whose glory outshines the sun. God does not need any supporting witnesses.

"Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go." Jesus spoke with divine, infinite knowledge of His own identity and origin, whereas the Pharisees spoke out of ignorance. They only knew what they could see. They knew that He came from Galilee and that His father was Joseph the carpenter. They could not see beyond these temporal images, which served as stumbling blocks to them.

Many Christians approach the gospel in the same manner. They know the scriptures very well, just as the Pharisees knew them, but they still prefer the darkness to the light. They continue to live outside the will of God, because they refuse to accept the hard sayings of the scriptures.

"Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me." (Mat 16:24) When a moth flies at a light, it will kill itself trying to get closer to it. It hits that light and falls away, and tries again, and again, and again. When we come to Jesus, He does not allow us to bounce off or to fall away, but we are expected to come with the same attitude of self-denial. We must surrender everything to Him, yet most never do. Like the Pharisees, they assume that they are eternally secure and focus their attentions on the more trivial, temporal things of life and religion.

Jesus offers you the light of life. Fly toward Him with all that you have.

Before The Throne:

Have you given Jesus your all? Don't skip the question, like a Pharisee. Ask yourself, "Have I come to Him in complete self-denial, laying everything that I have at His feet?" Come to the Light. Pray for forgiveness and humbly offer yourself as a living sacrifice. Seek a closer relationship with God. Ask Him to open your eyes to the truth of His word. Don't assume that you know it all. Only God is omniscient, but you can seek the illumination of His knowledge, and His Spirit will teach you all things.

For Further Study:

(v.12)
** I am. John 1:4-9; 3:19; 9:5; 12:35; Isa 9:2; 42:6,7; 49:6; 60:1-3; Hos 6:3; Mal 4:2; Mt 4:14-16; Luk 1:78,79; 2:32; Act 13:47; 26:23; ** shall not. John 12:35,46; Ps 18:28; 97:11; Isa 50:10; 2Pet 2:4,17; Jude 1:6,13; ** shall have. John 7:17; 14:6; Job 33:28; Ps 49:19; Rev 21:24;

(v.13) ** Thou. John 5:31-47;

(v.14) ** yet. Num 12:3; Neh 5:14-19; 2Cor 11:31; 12:11,19; ** for. John 7:29; 10:15,36; 13:3; 14:10; 16:28; 17:8; ** but. John 7:27,28; 9:29,30;

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