“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.’” John 8:12
The Light of The Servant Girl
There was a very successful man in Syria. Everyone nicknamed him the mighty man of valour. In a single sweep, the Lord helped him win Israel to Syria. This man was Naaman, captain of the Syrian army. The Syrians, during the raid, brought back a young girl as part of the loot, into the house of Naaman to wait on his wife. As prosperous as Naaman was, he was a leper. This disease became a source of sadness in his home. The young girl kept serving God while in Syria, and even though the Syrians forcefully took her from her country, she remained a believer. They didn’t know she would become the answer that the family of Naaman was praying for. She witnessed the living God of Israel to her leprous master. Then Naaman and his family knew God and were healed by the Prophet Elisha.
Birth Of A King
At Bethlehem, knowing the risk, God lit up the world and then Jesus was born. A new radiant light began to shine; it immediately attracted attention all over the world. The wise men from the east, as well as Herod, sent representatives to Bethlehem. When Jesus the Savior entered this world, it was like the sunrise breaking forth at dawn after a long night of darkness in human history (Luke 1:78-79).
In John 8:12, Jesus is breaking ground to announce that He is not only the Messiah of Israel but also that His glory exceeds the borders of Israel. Isaiah, many years before, had prophesied that Jews would reject Him and, as a result, God would make Him the light of the nations.
Light can not be hidden, for it draws attention to itself. When there is a cloud of darkness, we are all attracted to the light. This is the reason why Jesus introduces Himself as the light. The beacon of God’s light is what orders our exact steps and what chases away the darkness. In the wilderness on the way to Canaan, God led the Israelites with a pillar of fire. He did not leave them on their own. The presence of God’s light doesn’t mean that they took the easiest route. It instead implied that the light fully illuminated the road. Whenever Jesus is present in our lives, our paths are luminous.
The Life Of Men
For us to continue walking in the light everyday, we must follow Jesus and learn from Him. The light of Jesus is also the life of men (John 1:4). It reveals the truth concerning the way of salvation. The light also causes us to grow the same way vegetation grows in the presence of sunshine. We shine because we have the presence of Jesus, just as Moses’ face shone after being in the presence of God (Exodus 34:29). Remember, a life without Jesus is a life of futility.
King James Version (KJV)
“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.”
New International Version (NIV)
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'”
New American Bible (NASB)
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.'”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“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.'”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the people, ‘I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won’t be stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path.'”
Light of the World
This passage of scripture is widely known. “I am the Light of the World” is a truth that means so much to believers. Jesus is the Light. If we follow Him, we have the light of life. So powerful.
How do others actually see that light in us? We are supposed to reflect His light so that others see the Light. Christmas just passed and we had a great service. At the end, as we’ve often done over the years, we sang Silent Night and other Christmas hymns while we each held up a candle. This seems to be a pretty widespread tradition. But what is amazing about that light is how it looks when dozens, or even hundreds of people are holding it high.
Just one light in a completely dark room will light up the room enough to see in front of you. But hundreds or thousands of lights will light up the room completely. The amazing thing about light is that it overcomes the dark. Every time you turn on a flashlight on a dark night, it will light up your path. But if you are in the daylight, there is no ‘darkness flashlight’ that we can turn on to darken the path. That is because darkness cannot overcome light. But light can and does overcome the darkness.
In John 8, before the ‘light of the world’ passage, Jesus was teaching in a temple at the Mt. of Olives, when a group of scribes and pharisees barged in with a woman that had allegedly committed adultery. They wanted her stoned. This entire scene was rooted from darkness. They were testing Jesus to find fault in Him. Jesus told them, “If any of you has no sin, cast the first stone.”
They turned and left, one by one. Right after this, Jesus asked the woman if anyone was left to condemn her. She said, “No one, Lord.” Jesus then said, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”
It was immediately after this that Jesus turned back to those He was teaching and said “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Jesus was on a mission. He was not phased by the continued attacks of the scribes and pharisees. His mission was to be Light, wherever He went. Our mission is to follow Him and reflect His glorious light. It’s a big mission. But it’s not on us to try and figure it all out. He gives us the power and wisdom. Sometimes we need to just act and have faith that He will reflect His light through us.