JOHN:THE BOOK OF HEARTFELT BELIEF
The Light Of The World
Jerry A. Collins
The other night I was going to bed much later than everyone else. As I was shutting doors and closing windows, for some reason I needed to check something out on the deck. I slide the glass door open and stepped outside but was abruptly startled when I walked into something. It was the outside screen that crashed from its rollers down onto the deck. Without the necessary light I had not seen it and smashed right into it.
That incident illustrates the point of our message. That without the necessary light, Jesus Christ, people will stumble around in darkness, their sin and ignorance and die in their sin. On another occasion of teaching in the temple treasury (vs 20), Jesus declared He was the Light of the World, the source of revelation from God, to those who walk in darkness, ignorance and sin. He was the light because He came from God the father and was going back to Him. The passage is divided by three statements Jesus makes.
1. FOLLOWING THE LIGHT CHRIST BRINGS WILL KEEP US FROM STUMBLING 8:12-20
(1) We are invited to follow this Light vs 12. The Light refers to the source of revelation from God. Jesus is that source and the only one. He is the Light nor merely a light or another light among many lights. If you want to know God then you must follow Christ. In other words, he is the only way to salvation. Coming to Christ results in a whole new quality of life and destiny. Emphatically, this one will never walk in darkness ever again! The world is a dark place because it is a sinful place. The invitation to escape the stumbling this darkness brings is extended to everyone willing to follow.
(2) Unfortunately people will refuse this light and challenge its necessity vs 13. The Pharisees did and they represent the many who have done the same. Since Jesus appeared as his own witness they said His testimony was not valid. The Law required 2 witnesses to establish a fact. People who want their darkness will always excuse their need for the Light Christ brings!
(3) Without this light people are unable to judge things correctly vss. 14-18.
A. Ignorant judgment vs 14. First (earthly origin) they though Jesus came from Galilee instead of Bethlehem. Obviously noone had checked out his birthplace. His parents were Galileans, He grew up in Nazareth, His disciples from Galilee, He was raised in Galilee. Had they asked Mary and believed her, they would know He was born of a virgin, conceived by the HS, in Bethlehem, a descendent of king David. Second, (heavenly origin) they did not know He came from heaven and where He would return. But that is what darkness does to you. It keeps you stumbling around. Their ignorance disqualified them from judging Him. Unbelievers make ignorant judgments about Christ and His revelation about God.
B. Superficial judgment vs. 15. Without any spiritual discernment, they can only judge according to appearances. Seeing only His humanity, all your left with is earthly judging. Can only make decisions from an earthly perspective with earthly priorities.
C. Accurate judgment vss. 15b-20. In contrast, Jesus judgment is (1) Different (15b) since it is not a condemning judgment like that of his accusers but one that forced people to make a choice about Him and thus pass judgment upon themselves. His second coming will bring condemning judgment. It was (2) True (16) judging because it was not biased and limited like His accusers. His judging and witness were not alone but together with His Father. Truth means the way things actually are. Since God is Truth, He is incapable of arbitrary, biased or limited judgment. God is Truth! It was (3) Authenticated (17-18) judging since the father and the Son are the required two witnesses. The Father sent the Son and authenticated Him by all of the signs He has performed. Look to these and you will know Jesus is who he claims to be. Of course, people do want to look at the evidence the darkness keeps them stumbling for other answers (19)! 2. REJECTING THIS LIGHT WILL KEEP YOU STUMBLING IN THE DARKNESS IT BRINGS 8:21-27
(1) The opportunity to trust Christ is limited (21). Death ends all opportunity for us and then we suffer the consequences of rejecting the only Light forever. We die in our sins and await the condemning judgment to come from Christ. Sin wonít let you in there. Physical death will lead to eternal death.
(2) Rejecting the Light Christ brings means missing the only hope of salvation we have (22-24a). The spiritual darkness we have because we are of this world is the reason we need revelation from God in Christ else we will never grasp the truth and misunderstand our need and die in our sin. So God took the initiative to bring us this light. There is nowhere else to look for it.
(3) The revelation Christ brings is the truth we need for salvation (25-27). Jesus could have said much more that condemned these but that was not His purpose for coming. It was to seek and to save those who are lost. Since God the Father was unknown to them they missed Jesus. Stumbling around in spiritual darkness will do that to you. This revelation is the only truth there is for our salvation. He is the only source of revelation from God.
3. DELIVERANCE FROM THE DARKNESS ONLY COMES THROUGH FAITH IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST 8:28-30
(1) The cross will reveal that Jesus is the Fatherís revelation to us (28-29). The light could not be put out by opposition but was put on display beckoning all to enter it. Reason sinners reject Jesus is because He reveals their sin and their need for salvation. Though people reject Jesus, the Father will never abandon Him. They are vin this together.
(2) Believing this revelation about the Father and the Son will save us from sin (30). We cannot argue people into Godís Kingdom. We dare not change Jesus message to appeal to mans unwillingness to believe this. Our job is to tell the truth as Jesus did and pray for eyes to be opened to see nit and respond in faith to it.
A. We use the revelation of God, the Bible, to deliver people from darkness today. It is always revelation mankind needs. Without it and faith they are lost.
B. Like Jesus, we must always keep the long view in mind. Living for the other side of the grave will keep us focused on the truth.