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.” John 8:12 - 18 (ESV)
Jesus is questioned about his authority and his claims. He is on trial once again with the Jewish leaders.
They have tried over and over to use his own words against him and prove that he is not who he claims to
be; they have tried to prove that he is a fraud, but unfortunately for them, Jesus has witnesses to back up
his claims, it’s just not who they think it is.
The “I am” statement in John 8:12 is the second of seven “I am” claims Jesus makes in the Gospel of
John. In this passage Jesus says, “I am the light of the world” and this is significant because this was
during the Feast of the Lights and during the evenings of this celebration a light was carried and it
represented the “light of God”. So, when Jesus makes this claim, He is claiming to be the light of God.
Light in Scripture represents something that exposes or consumes darkness and reveals what is hidden.
The light also symbolizes the giving of life and being a guide or a path. In the Old Testament God led the
Israelites by a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire or light at night. In John’s Gospel light is
synonymous to life, revelation of the truth and of salvation.
Jesus also claims, “The one who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Followers of Jesus are called to walk in the light, because we have the light of life who is Jesus in us. In
Jesus is life and the life is the light of the world. This means that in Jesus we have salvation, guidance and
abundant life here on earth. We no longer walk in the darkness, because the darkness has been exposed.
We now walk in the illuminated light of Jesus with the Holy Spirit as our guide.
The Pharisee’s tried to use Jesus’ words against him, and according to Jewish law one must have two or
more witnesses for a testimony to be validated. The Jews said Jesus’ claims were invalid because he was
testifying of himself and no one else had come forward.
Jesus verifies that his testimony is true because of his firsthand knowledge of heaven. He knew who his
Father was, He knew his place of origin and they could not understand or comprehend this. They were
judging him based on human standards. Jesus says, “You judge according to the flesh and I do not judge
anyone.” This could and probably should read, “I do not judge according to the flesh.” The Jewish
leaders judge to bring condemnation but Jesus judges to bring salvation. Jesus’ judgment is true because
he judges in accordance with the Father.
Jesus also takes on the witness question. Yes, two witnesses are needed to verify his claim and Jesus does
this when he says, “I bear witness and the Father bears witness” of who I am. The witness of God always
trumps human witnesses.
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