Reflect the light of Jesus (John 8:12)

Reflect the light of Jesus (John 8:12)
Reflect the light of Jesus (John 8:12)

The Passage

This week we will study John‬ ‭8:12. So let’s read the passage, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Statements Reveal

In ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12,‬ we see that Jesus declares His second, I AM statement. There are seven I AM statements in the book of John, each one is extremely important. There are three things that all of the I AM statements reveal, first they all reveal something about Jesus’ character, second they all reveal Jesus is the Messiah, and the third is they all call people to accept Him as their Lord and Savior. This I AM statement likely occurred on the same day as the woman being caught in adultery. Once the woman had gone, the crowds and more pharisees returned. If it was the same morning, then it was likely that Jesus made this statement as the sun started to shine into the temple where He was teaching.

The First Part of the Statement

Now let’s study Jesus’ I AM statement in John 8:12. Jesus spoke to them again and said “I AM the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” One thing that Jesus meant to show by saying this, was that He is the visible image of God (Colossians 1:15) and that anyone who believes Him, will be saved and will receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus was showing the world that He is the Messiah and the Son of God, this is also, what the whole gospel of John is trying to convey. When you look at Jesus you should see God, because He is the visible image of God. Just like light does not cause something to exist or does not change the image of what it shines on, it instead allows you to be able to see what is already there and allows you to understand it better. This is what Jesus does for us. Light is often understood, in Jewish circles, to mean that God is the source of light, just like the sun is the source of light in our universe (Isaiah 60:19, Psalm 119:105, Genesis 1:3, Psalms 18:28). By Jesus saying this statement, it not only shows that God is light, Jesus is God and the Messiah, but also illuminates God through Jesus for us.

The Second Part of the Passage

Now lets look at the second half of this passage. Jesus said that “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. The way Jesus often called people to Salvation was by asking them to follow Him. I have done a previous blog on this and how I believe that when we accept Jesus as Lord, we are also accepting the calling that Jesus has on our life. This call has been separated into two calls, I do not think that it is necessary to believe that they are one call, but I do think it is good to understand and build your own opinion on. What I do think is vitally important to a growing walk with Jesus, is to understand that anyone who is following Jesus, will not walk in darkness. To walk in darkness means that you live in sin, most likely Jesus is referring to repetitive sin. Light and darkness in the Bible, are often associated with the battle between good and evil, God and satan. When Jesus says He is light, does this mean that satan is darkness? That is one interpretation of this passage, I think that it is not a bad interruption, but if you think like this, you have to reason out what light and darkness are. Jesus is not just saying that He is light, He is linking the attributes of light to Himself, to explain something about His character. So, first, let’s cover what darkness is, darkness is literally the absence of light, on its own darkness has no power. It draws all its power from the light or the absence thereof. This is the same with satan and all the fallen angels, they only have the power that God gives them and nothing more. This is hard to comprehend, but it is true and is shown to us at other times in the scriptures: Job 1:6-22, Colossians 1:16, and Ephesians 1:20-22. God has all the power and is all-powerful. Light holds all power over darkness, wherever it is it drives the darkness out. By saying this I AM statement, Jesus is conveying that He has all power, all might, power over all principalities, and dominion over everything. So often when we think of good versus evil, we seem to think that their power is equal and that evil is just as powerful as good, this is shown in so much of today’s media. But, that is not what the Bible tells us and it is not what Christians believe, that is the belief held by Dualism, not Christianity. Christianity teaches us that not only is God all-powerful, but also that, Jesus died taking power from sin, death, and dominion from satan. Because when we sin the punishment is death and our God being perfect in His justice, sent His Son, so that the debt of our punishment could be poured out on Him, and the blood of the perfect One (Jesus) could redeem us. But, because God is all-powerful, not even death could stop that Power and on the third day, Jesus rose again. 

Do Not Walk in Darkness

Jesus says, that those who follow Him “will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”. God has written His law on all of our hearts (Romans 2:15). We all know that certain things are universally wrong, but yet we still sometimes feel the desire to do them (Romans 7:18-22). See, the truth is that right and wrong are absolute (Romans 1:18-25). The media and society often try to convince us that truth is flexible or based on this or that. Because the truth is, that for them, if absolute truth exists, then truth has to come from somewhere that is deeper than any human being or group of human beings, it has to come from the Creator. That is why they are really trying to convince us that there is no absolute truth. But, the truth is that sin occurs anytime we choose to break the law and rebel against God. Jesus taught us that even if we only desire to sin in our hearts, it is still sin (Matthew 5:21-28). The truth is we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the punishment for sin is death (Romans 3:23, 6:23). But God, rich in mercy, sent Jesus to redeem us so, we could choose to accept Him as Lord and Savior and live forever with Him. He is the only One that can redeem us, the only One that is light. So many things imitate light, but they are really darkness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). We are blinded by the darkness and do not see the light, because if you have never seen it you cannot understand, in the same way, you cannot understand the things of God unless He calls you to Himself. To many, it sounds like foolishness just like to a blind person, light may sound foolish. But I believe, that within each and every one of us, God has placed the knowledge that there is something more, that draws us to Himself. If you do not know Jesus, this can be your day to go from darkness to light. You may not be aware that you have sinned before today, but after today you have no excuse, everyone has sinned including you. But pleading that you did not know it was wrong, does not change the fact that you are guilty. In the same way, pleading that you did not know you had sinned, does not change the fact that you have, the only thing that can change your status with God is accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. He is the only way, there is no other way to live forever (John 14:6). If you would like to live forever with Him, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), and believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9).

Reflect the Light of Jesus

Jesus says, that those who follow Him “will have the light of life”. I believe this is referring to the Holy Spirit, because God is light and the Holy Spirit is God and the Holy Spirit is what seals us to eternal life (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). I think what Jesus is telling us is we receive the Holy Spirit at Salvation. Do your family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances see the light of Jesus in your life? You have likely heard the saying, the most important sermon you can preach, is the way you live your life. I want to encourage you to live your life in such a way that you reflect the light of Jesus, that is the basis of our channel and page banners. We are all in various places in our walk with Jesus (sanctification). The question is not, are you reflecting the light more than this person or that person, but if the light that you are reflecting gets brighter, clearer, and easier to see every day? Do you look more like Jesus today than you did yesterday? If the answer is yes, then you are on the right track, if not, you should consider spending more time in prayer and meditating on His word so that you will draw closer to Him (James 4:8, Psalms 1:2){meditation, in this case, means that you read and think deeply about what you have read}. Also, I want you to realize that when you picture God, you should not picture a grandfather with a beard, but you should picture Jesus, an ordinary-looking Jewish man in his thirties (Isaiah 53:2). That is who we should picture because Jesus is the visible image of God. Remember that all power is God’s and that God is on the throne and worthy of all your honor and praise.

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