12 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.” 13 So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” 19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him. (John 8:12-30)

Jesus is the light of the world

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. (John 8:12a)

Darkness, Lies & Death

Jesus is clearly making spiritual analogy when he uses the terms light and darkness. So, what does he mean? Darkness is the absence of light. Without light we have a false sense of reality because we can’t see or understand what truly exists. We live a lie and imagine perils that don’t exist and we can’t perceive many of the dangers that actually exist. Living in darkness leads to unforeseen death.

Spiritually speaking, we live in a dark world. Spiritual darkness is the absence of spiritual light. Without spiritual light we have a false sense of spiritual reality; we live a spiritual lie. There are unforeseen spiritual perils that will lead to our spiritual death.

Light, Truth & Life

We need light, and Jesus is the light of the world! In him was life and, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4). Jesus is really all we need. In a dark world, he is light. In a world characterized by deception and lies, he is the truth. In a world where darkness leads to eminent death, he is life.

Light for all, received by some

Jesus offers his light to everyone. John 1:9 says, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world“. Jesus came for everyone, but not everyone receives him; not everyone has the light. That brings up the question; how does one receive the light?

When we follow Jesus, we have the light

“Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12b)

Retreat or follow?

Are you following or hiding? Remember last week’s story about the Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery? Roger pointed out that the woman was the only one left standing in the light. One by one, all those who accused her of adultery slinked back into the shadows when the light began to shine. I find it interesting that the oldest were the first to leave. The longer you walk in darkness the quicker you retreat there when truth shines on our sin.

Light for believers

Jesus said in John 12:46, “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness“. He’s saying that he came into the world to rescue those who truly believe in him from the darkness.

Follow the light

When I was a small child, I would follow my grandpa in the dark to the calving barn to check the cows in the winter during calving season. He would grab the big rechargeable flashlight off the kitchen counter and off we’d go. With snow blowing and coyotes howling, I would fearlessly follow my grandpa up the long winding path over the foot bridge and to the barn. I would have never made that trek in the dark alone, but I didn’t fear a thing because I had unwavering trust in my grandpa and he had the light.

Following Jesus means he have unwavering trust in him. It means that we go where he goes and do what he does. It means that we run to him when we sin rather than hiding from him. When he speaks we listen with arguing or changing the conversation.

Don’t try to change the conversation

At this point, the Pharisees attempted to change the conversation. That’s what we so often do when we are confronted with our sin or disbelief.  When we realize our own fault, we often get defensive and start throwing rocks. Look what these guys said:

So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” (John 8:13)

These guys were trying to point the light away from themselves and trip up Jesus with it. That will never work! They were calling him a liar. Jewish law required two or three witnesses to make an official claim against another. Jesus is making a claim about himself and they think he should have two or three witnesses. So, Jesus goes on to explain that his testimony is as good as God’s word.

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” (John 8:14-18)

Jesus has witness in Himself

Jesus is clarifying his uniqueness as the second person in the Trinity. He’s saying that he speaks with the authority of God who being one in essence is three in personage, thus providing in himself witness of all things. Jesus is the only person who can speak with this triune authority. He’s so much more than just the Savior.

We can’t know God apart form Jesus

19 They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 8:19-20)

Interesting enough, these men were religious leaders and teachers. These were the guys that were the most religious of all, and in the eyes of men they were the ones who knew God. But Jesus tells them that they did not know God.

The attempt to change the conversation was futile and Jesus brings it full circle.

Without the light, we die in our sins

21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews said, “Will he kill himself, since he says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” (John 8:21-29)

Wow! Try to deflect the light and the light gets brighter. Jesus is telling them that they are human and he is God. He’s saying that if they try anything other than having faith in him alone as Savior and God they will die in their sins. Receive the light and be forgiven of your sins or die in your sins and be sent to eternal darkness. The ball is in your court.

What Jesus is saying here about going to hell or dying in your sins is often a forgotten part of the gospel message. With out this part of the story, the good news wouldn’t be good news. There isn’t good news without bad news first. The gospel message isn’t a feel good self help strategy. It’s a feel bad, repent and let Jesus save you strategy. We’re in over our heads because of sin and trust in Jesus alone is the only way out.

Many believe

So, Jesus delivered the bad news and as a result, many believed the good news!

As he was saying these things, many believed in him. (John 8:30)

Have you believed in him?