Light of the world
Jesus – the light of the world, is a great comfort in the midst of darkness. It is, as John Piper puts it, “the soft glow in a lonely room when we are bearing devastating loss”. His sweet light and presence carries us through the darkest of times. His light also makes everything more beautiful. When I see the work of His hands in the light, I rejoice at His handiwork.
With monotonous regularity in the Gospels, the Pharisees aren’t impressed. They immediately say ‘you are making up stuff about yourself’. Seven times Jesus uses the word Father in His answer. Jesus’ unique relationship to the Father is the key to Him being the light of the world. Jesus points to the fact that he is from the Father, speaks on the authority of the Father, is going to the Father, and does nothing on his own. He claims, in other words, that his authority is not owing to any human origin. It comes from his relationship with God the Father.
In verse 24, Jesus says “Unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins”. The word ‘he’ is an English translation addition – “Unless you believe that I AM”. Jesus is identifying himself as the same as the Father – the “I AM” of Exodus 3:14. Again in John 8:28, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM he…”, the ‘he’ is an English addition. When Jesus has been lifted up on the cross, then lifted up out of the grave and then lifted up to the right hand of the Father… then it will be clear that He is I AM.
Jesus and the Father are One. And because of that He is the light of the world. Light for your darkness, light that brings definition to beauty, light that shows us the path, light that guides and brings warmth and direction. Light that brings comfort in the darkness. Thank you Jesus.