Following the Light
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. John 8:12-14
John declared in the epistle, “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all” (1 John 1:5). Given the choice between light and darkness, which would you choose? No one in his right mind would choose darkness. In the darkness of Mammoth Cave, the very fish that swim in the deep, dark waters of its caves have lost their eyesight. They are blind because there is no light. One wants light so he can find his way. One needs light in order to have life. When one looks for a figure to describe comprehension, he speaks of the light of understanding, but the darkness is of ignorance. Speaking of God as light means that there is an absolute truth. “So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth” (1 John 1:6). The fact that John emphasized this point by saying “in him there is no darkness at all” indicates that Christ has the ethical implications uppermost in mind. The evil person desires darkness to hide his evil deeds (see John 3:19). From the opening paragraphs of the Gospel of John, Jesus was presented as the light shining in the darkness (John 1:4, 5). He was the light to every man. He was the true light coming into the world (John 1:9). In the last week of His ministry before the crucifixion, Jesus warned the Jerusalem crowd, “You are going to have the light just a little longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35, 36). Just as Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water (John 4:10, 14), and just as He introduced the multitude along the shore of Galilee to the bread of life (John 6:51), even so He declared to the crowds in Jerusalem, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Christ was the light that brings the right way into view. He was showing the way to salvation. He was driving back the darkness of sin, despair, and destruction. Life for every person is a matter of following Christ. “The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone” (John 1:4).