In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.2 He was in the beginning with God.3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1:1-5, NASB
Today, we are continuing our discussion of John 1:1-5, and the Light. We have already considered two things about the Light: (1) how the world hates the Light because the Light exposes the world to the truth; and (2) two different ways to accept and approach life in the Light. Today, I want to examine how the author uses the concept of “Light”, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me,”by looking at John 8.
I am an avid walker.I prefer to walk early in the morning around my neighborhood. My ultimate goal every morning is to walk out the door at sunrise.For me, there is something peaceful and serene about walking in the early morning light. Everything feels more intense at that time of the day. Depending on what time of the year, traffic can be very heavy, so walking in daylight is important so that drivers can see me when I cross the streets. But there is an added benefit to walking while there is light for me, I’m more cognizant of nature. I can hear the birds chirping, see deer crossing the road, hear squirrels rustling leaves as they fly from one branch to another, worms and bugs squiggling on the pavement in front of me are visible and fascinating, and sometimes even the feel of a light warm rain. But the ultimate benefit of walking in the early light for me is listening to God’s wisdom speak to me setting the tone for my day. It may all just be in my mind, but I feel that I can see and hear more walking in daylight. Therefore, for me, walking while there is natural light out is illuminating for my spirit, mind, psyche and life.
Even though when I speak of the effects light has on my natural senses when I walk, Jesus is speaking of so much more in John 8:12, when, He says, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” The way Jesus uses the words, Light and “I am,” He is equating Himself with God. “I believe” that the author of John uses the words “I am” to equate Jesus with the way God describes God’s self in Exodus 3:14, when Moses asks God, who shall I say sent me and “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” Like me, I believe the scribes and Pharisees recognize this also. When Jesus says, “Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life,” I believe He is using the word darkness to mean sin. The Pharisees continue the exchange by stating Jesus’ testimony needs another witness to be valid.Jesus’ response, I and the Father, the One who sent Me, the Father is My other witness which makes Jesus the Light that can judge, expose, and illuminate sin. The response of the Jewish religious experts: “Where is your Father?” Jesus’ response to the unseeing religious experts: “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” (John 8:13-20)
In John 8:21-30, the sin controversy continues with the religious leaders. Jesus says, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” Again, the scribes and Pharisees who are experts on the Messiah don’t see or get that Jesus is the Messiah because they are judging and looking at Jesus based upon human standards. They respond to Jesus, by asking whether He is going to commit suicide. Jesus then tries to be more explicit and tells them they don’t understand Him because, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world.Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe thatI am He, you will die in your sins.”Again, the religious experts don’t see or hear or even understand the scriptures they claim to be experts of.
In the remaining text of chapter 8, the author continues the exchanges between the crowd, religious experts, and Jesus. Jesus keeps trying to enlighten them of their sin and how it enslaves. Instead they continue to use human standards, by implying they are children of Abraham and therefore have never been slaves. They don’t understand or see when Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” Jesus tries again when they then say, Abraham is their father. He responds by saying, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.”The religious experts and crowd do like so many humans do when they are losing an argument, they attempt to “other” Jesus. They call Jesus a Samaritan and demon. Watch how Jesus responds. He never addresses the attempt to insult Him by saying He is a Samaritan. By doing this, Jesus elevates the status of Samaritans, making them equal to Jews. Instead Jesus only responds to them calling Him a demon. Jesus says, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.But I do not seek My glory; there is One who seeks and judges.Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”
Chapter 8 begins with the way that it ends, Jesus trying to get others to come out of the darkness and see their own sins. The chapter begins with the scribes and Pharisees bringing a woman caught in the act of adultery.Under Jewish law she was supposed to be stoned to death. (Deuteronomy 22:23-24). They say to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”Jesus does not answer them, but instead writes on the ground with His finger. They continue to question Him. Jesus continues to write on the ground. I believe that what they see Jesus writing are sins they are guilty of, not only guilty of but, possibly sins that require their stoning. This is the only place in this chapter that I believe they see themselves as sinners.
Throughout all of the controversies that Jesus has with the religious experts in John 8, I think they are more like me when I walk in the daylight seeing, hearing, and cognizant of my natural surroundings, seeing and hearing under human standards. I am like the crowd that brings the sins of others to Jesus without looking at my own when I just see using my human understanding. I can still see and hear, but yet not see and hear what God wants. It is when I listen and heed the voice of God that I see and hear what God wants. It is then that I am no longer walking in darkness but walking in the Light that I can truly see, hear, believe and know what Jesus was trying to get across to the religious experts: those who believe what Jesus said and did can now see, hear, and are free because they know the truth and will not die in their sins because they walk in the Light. It is then and only then I can walk in the Light because I believe and see He died for my sins. Do you believe Jesus so you can see, hear and walk in the Light?
All texts are from the New American Standard Bible from Biblegateway.com unless otherwise noted.
I walk on average about 5 miles per day. I started walking for health reasons. I continue because I found it gave me some quiet time with God.
I say my ultimate goal because I have never reached it. I always want to stay under the warmth of my covers, so my alarm goes off several times before I finally get up.
In ancient Jewish tradition and culture, something became a fact when there were 2 or 3 witnesses to confirm an event. See Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15. See Genesis 31:49-51 where God was the second witness.
See Genesis 18:1-9. The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Version with the Apocypha. 4thEdition. Coogan, Michael, editor. Oxford University Press, Inc. NY:NY, 2010. Page 1897 footnotes.
Samaritans are Jews also. One of the reasons they were denigrated and considered less because their central place of worship was not Jerusalem.
The scribes and Pharisees bring the woman or sinner to Jesus because they are looking for a reason to kill Jesus.