John 8:12-30

Jesus creates controversy yet again! He wasn't doing so for the sake of it, but in order to challenge the Jewish people to see the truth of who He was and why He had come. He didn’t make these pronouncements from the safety of a pulpit, where He could say things that the people might not like, but to which they could not reply. Rather, He said them out in public - in the temple courts - where they could respond immediately with their own comments and questions. He made a series of claims about Himself that were challenged by His enemies. He then answered their questions wisely, leading on to His next claim. All the time, Jesus spoke the truth in love with firmness and conviction. He was constantly trying to show them who He was, but their eyes were blinded.

Jesus declared that He was "the light of the world". By this, He meant that He was bringing new life to the world, to light up the darkness which had been consuming it. This darkness is the darkness of evil. It has never overcome or extinguished God’s light and it never will. (John 1:5) The light shows us up for who we really are: sinners in need of a Saviour. It also shows us what we can do about it: accept all that Jesus has done for us by His death on the cross. Only then can we "walk in the light as He is in the light". (I John 1:7) When we follow Jesus, the true light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us, so that we can see how to live. (Psalm 119:105) He removes the darkness of sin from our lives. But we do have to let Jesus (by the power of the Holy Spirit and His word) shine into our lives. There is no more need for us to stumble around in the darkness, in any area of our lives.

How big is your light?

When our spirit is born again by the Holy Spirit of God, we are like a lit match. Wherever we go in the world, we shed light. A dark place cannot be dark any longer if we are there, as even the light of a match is more powerful than all the darkness surrounding it. The effect does not go very far, but it does affect the surrounding area. The light from this match can grow bigger very quickly when fanned by the wind of the Holy Spirit and when joined with lots of other like-minded matches to form a bonfire!

This is nowhere better shown than when a person comes to Christ for the first time. Full of the joy of salvation, they share it naturally with those around them, who may have been Christians themselves for some while, but have become tinder dry with religious routine in their faith and excitement for Jesus. They receive the challenge of this new light for Christ. They begin to take God at His word and see the miraculous once again. That little match very soon becomes a beacon on a hill. The fire that has started becomes a mighty bush fire, totally unable to be controlled by any amount of dampening water that the enemy tries to throw at it.

We can allow the light of Jesus to shine in every part of our being. This makes us more like a fire, everywhere we go. It may lead to persecution and rejection, especially from religious people, who talk the talk but do not walk the walk! “For every wrongdoer hates [loathes, detests] the light and will not come out into the light, but shrinks from it, lest his works [deeds, activities, conduct] be exposed and reproved.” (John 3:20 Amplified version)

When we live, full of the light of Jesus Christ, we show love and joy, peace and gentleness everywhere we go. If faced with opposition, we can speak strongly when speaking to religious people. Jesus demonstrates this in John 8:25 (Amplified version): “Why do I even speak to you! I am exactly what I have been telling you from the first.” But He showed gentleness, compassion and understanding when talking to other followers of His - as in John 8:30 (Amplified version): “As He said these things, many believed on Him [trusted, relied on and adhered to Him].”

Though once your heart was full of darkness, now it is full of light from the Lord and your behaviour should show it! Because of this light within you, you should do only what is good and right and true.” (Ephesians 5:8 Living Bible)

Light and darkness

Light is:

  • Jesus. (John 8:12; 1 John 1:5)
  • Knowledge of the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:6-7; Revelation 21:23)
  • Making everything visible. (Ephesians 5:13-14; Revelation 22:5)
  • Everlasting. (Isaiah 60:20)
  • God's word, giving direction. (Psalm 119:105)

Darkness comes from:

  • Lack of vision. (Micah 3:6)
  • Letting your eyes look at the wrong things. (Matthew 6:23)
  • No revelation of knowledge. (John 1:5)
  • Choosing darkness. (John 3:19 Romans 13:12; Isaiah 5:20)

Darkness results in:

  • Being unsuccessful. (Deuteronomy 28:29)
  • Constantly getting things wrong. (Psalm 82:5)
  • No love. (1 John 1:6)
  • No future. (Jeremiah 23:12; Matthew 15:14)

A life full of light

Many born-again people have chosen to live in a "shadow-land" - never coming into the full light of Jesus. But, "walking in the light" means that we can keep our lives pure, talk right, love the unlovely and have close encounters of the "God kind"! It takes time and effort to develop our deep relationship with Him. We find out that it is hard work disciplining our flesh and our feelings can also dominate our lives. If we don’t press on, we will never rise to the exciting heights of the pure light of Jesus shining in and through us, affecting the world around us wherever we go. This is the life that God wants for us and we only have to make ourselves available to the leading of the Holy Spirit. He longs for us to walk in His light, so that He can do all the things He wants to do through us, because of His power in us.

Jesus gives us the keys to this shining life. (John 8:28-29) They are:

  • To lift Jesus up.
  • To do nothing alone - only on God’s authority.
  • To speak only what the Father teaches us to speak.
  • To remember always that we are not on our own.
  • To do what pleases the Father not ourselves.

If you will make the commitment today, to get on intimate terms with your heavenly Father, you will find that to walk in the light of Christ is the highest and most exciting way to live your life. You will be a beacon to all those around you, helping them to cope with the problems which this evil age is throwing at them.

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