John 8:12 - Walk With Jesus & Avoid The Darkness.
John 8:12; Walk With Jesus & Avoid The Darkness.
John 8:12 (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.
The second great "I am" of Jesus, spoken with divine authority. Jesus is the
source of spiritual enlightenment. [Passages Of Life SB]
Jesus utilizes a convenient symbol for Himself that is rooted in the O.T.
imagery of the wanderings in the wilderness. In ch. 6 it was the manna, and
in ch. 7 it was the water... Now, the lighting of the giant lamps reminded the
nation of the pillar of fire which guided them at night [Believer's SB]
As the Light of the world, Christ claimed to be God, for God is light (1
John 1:5). [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
The word light was specially associated in Jewish thought and language with
God. "The Lord is my light" (Ps 27:1). "The Lord will be your everlasting
light" (Isa 60:19). "By his light I walked through darkness" (Jb 29:3).
"When I sit in darkness the Lord will be a light to me" (Mic 7:8). The
Rabbis declared that the name of the Messiah was Light. [Barclay Commentary]
The background for this statement may reside in the practice of lighting the
candelabra in the Court of the Women (where the treasury was located, v. 20)
during the Feast of Tabernacles, and in the glory cloud of the wilderness
wanderings which those lights were intended to represent, and also in the
creation light (1:4, 9), [Wycliffe Bible Commentary]
The Festival of Tabernacles (Jn 7:2). We have already seen (Jn 7:37) how its
ceremonies lent drama to Jesus' claim to give to men the living water. But
there was another ceremony connected with this festival. On the evening of
its first day there was a ceremony called The Illumination of the Temple. It
took place in the Court of the Women. The court was surrounded with deep
galleries, erected to hold the spectators. In the centre four great
candelabra were prepared. When the dark came the four great candelabra were
lit and, it was said, they sent such a blaze of light throughout Jerusalem
that every courtyard was lit up with their brilliance. Then all night long,
until cock-crow the next morning, the greatest and the wisest and the
holiest men in Israel danced before the Lord and sang psalms of joy and
praise while the people watched. Jesus is saying: "You have seen the blaze
of the Temple illuminations piercing the darkness of the night. I am the
Light of the World, and, for the man who follows me there will be light, not
only for one exciting night, but for all the pathway of his life. The light
in the Temple is a brilliant light, but in the end it flickers and dies. I
am the Light which lasts for ever." [Barclay Commentary]
Towards the end of the first day of the feast of Tabernacles, people went
down into the court of the women, where precautions had been taken [to
separate the men from the women]. Golden lamps were there, and four golden
bowls were on each of them, and four ladders were by each; four young men
from the priestly group of youths had jugs of oil in their hands containing
about 120 logs and poured oil from them into the individual bowls. Wicks
were made from the discarded trousers of the priests and from their girdles.
There was no court in Jerusalem that was not bright from the light of the
place of drawing [water]. Men of piety and known for their good works danced
before them with torches in their hands, and sang before them songs and
praises. And the Levites stood with zithers and harps and cymbals and
trumpets and other musical instruments without number on the 15 steps, which
led down from the court of the Israelites into the court of the women and
which corresponded to the 15 songs of the steps in the psalms. [Victor Bible
Jesus was speaking in the part of the temple where the offerings were put
(8:20), where candles burned to symbolize the pillar of fire that led the
people of Israel through the desert (Exodus 13:21, 22). In this context,
Jesus called himself the light of the world. The pillar of fire represented
God's presence, protection, and guidance. Jesus brings God's presence,
protection, and guidance. Is he the light of 'your' world? [Life Application
It was morning; the sun had just risen above the Mount of Olives, and its
rays fell with dazzling brightness on the marble palaces, and lighted up the
gold of the temple walls, when Jesus, pointing to it, said, "I am the light
of the world."
In the manifestation of God to His people, light had ever been a symbol of
His presence. At the creative word in the beginning, light had shone out of
darkness. Light had been enshrouded in the pillar of cloud by day and the
pillar of fire by night, leading the vast armies of Israel. Light blazed
with awful grandeur about the Lord on Mount Sinai. Light rested over the
mercy-seat in the tabernacle. Light filled the temple of Solomon at its
dedication. Light shone on the hills of Bethlehem when the angels brought
the message of redemption to the watching shepherds.
God is light; and in the words, "I am the light of the world," Christ
declared His oneness with God, and His relation to the whole human family.
It was He who at the beginning had caused "the light to shine out of
darkness."[3 2 COR. 4:6.] He is the light of sun and moon and star. He was
the spiritual light that in symbol and type and prophecy had shone upon
Israel. But not to the Jewish nation alone was the light given. As the
sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light
of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon every soul.
"That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the
Christ is the "LIGHT, which LIGHTETH every man that cometh into the world."
John 1:9. As through Christ every human being has life, so also through Him
every soul receives some ray of divine LIGHT. Not only intellectual but
spiritual power, a perception of right, a desire for goodness, exists in
every heart. But against these principles there is struggling an
antagonistic power. The result of the eating of the tree of knowledge of
good and evil is manifest in every man's experience. There is in his nature
a bent to evil, a force which, unaided, he cannot resist. To withstand this
force, to attain that ideal which in his inmost soul he accepts as alone
worthy, he can find help in but one power. That power is Christ.
with that power is man's greatest need. In all educational effort should not
this co-operation be the highest aim? ED29
I am the Light of the world. Our Lord here draws an analogy between the sun
as the physical light of the world and Himself as the spiritual light of the
world (see 9:4-5; 11:9-10). [Ryrie SB]
In the world about us there can be no life without light. Were the sun to
withdraw his shining, all vegetation, all animal life, would have an end.
This illustrates the fact that we cannot have spiritual life unless we place
ourselves under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness....
We are called, as was John, not to take the place of Christ, but to witness
to the light, to direct the minds of others to Him. . . . Let no one who
would witness for Christ, make himself prominent, and seek to attract the
attention of the people to himself; but let him strive to lift up Jesus.
Humanity has in itself no light. Apart from Christ, we are like an unkindled
taper, like the moon when her face is turned away from the sun; we have not
a single ray of brightness to shed into the darkness of the world. But when
we turn toward the Sun of Righteousness, when we come in touch with Christ,
the whole soul is aglow with the brightness of the divine presence. SD281
Just as the flower can never blossom when it never sees the sunlight, so our
lives can never flower with the grace and beauty they ought to have until
they are irradiated with the light of the presence of Jesus. [Barclay
This is Jesus, the life of every grace, the life of every promise, the life
of every ordinance, the life of every blessing. Jesus is the substance, the
glory and fragrance, the very life itself. "He that followeth me shall not
walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (John 8:12). Then the
royal path cast up the ransomed to walk in is not discouraging darkness. Our
pilgrimage would indeed be lonely and painful were it not for Jesus. 2SM244
His saying, "I am the light of the world," is a claim to be the genuine
light by which truth and falsehood are distinguished....
Light reveals reality as God knows it. Darkness is the shadowy world of
illusion cast by human notions of what constitutes reality: a world of
delusion, deception, and fantasy.
Apart from relationship with and trust in Jesus no one has the slightest
chance of knowing reality. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
In John "light" is closely linked with distinguishing between the true and
the false, between reality and illusion. As the "Light of the world" Jesus
becomes the one and only source of illumination of spiritual reality.
Believe in Him and we see all as it really is. Refuse to believe in Him, and
we are left with only "human standards"-and darkness. [Victor Bible Reader's
Light and darkness are expressive symbols frequently contrasted in John's
Gospel. But John, like the OT, is not thinking of intellectual enlightenment
or ignorance. Instead light and dark are soteriological terms, images which
contrast the bright joy the saved experience in the presence of the Lord,
with the fearful gloom through which those separated from Him must trudge.
[Victor Bible Background Commentary]
When Jesus said, Whoever follows Me, He meant whoever believes and obeys Him
(cf. 10:4-5, 27; 12:26; 21:19-20, 22). Jesus was speaking of salvation.
Coming to Christ for salvation results in a different kind of life. A
believer will never walk in darkness, that is, he will not live in it (cf.
12:46; 1 John 1:6-7). He does not remain in the realm of evil and ignorance
(John 12:46) for he has Christ as his Light and salvation (cf. Ps. 36:9).
[Bible Knowledge Commentary]
"The darkness has not understood it" means the darkness of evil never has
and never will overcome or extinguish God's light. Jesus Christ is the
Creator of life, and his life brings light to mankind. In his light, we see
ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). When we follow
Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He
lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the
darkness of sin from our lives. Have you allowed the light of Christ to
shine into your life? Let Christ guide your life, and you'll never need to
stumble in darkness. [Life Application SB]
He that followeth Jesus, as a traveller follows the light in a dark night,
shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. If Christ be
the light, then, It is our duty to follow him, to submit ourselves to his
guidance, and in every thing take directions from him, in the way that leads
to happiness. Many follow false lights-- ignes fatui, that lead them to
destruction; but Christ is the true light. It is not enough to look at this
light, and to gaze upon it, but we must follow it, believe in it, and walk
in it, for it is a light to our feet, not our eyes only. (Matthew Henry's
To be a follower of Christ is to give oneself body, soul and spirit into the
obedience of the Master; and to enter upon that following is to walk in the
light. When we walk alone we are bound to stumble and grope, for so many of
life's problems are beyond our solution. When we walk alone we are bound to
take the wrong way, because we have no secure map of life. We need the
heavenly wisdom to walk the earthly way. The man who has a sure guide and an
accurate map is the man who is bound to come in safety to his journey's end.
Jesus Christ is that guide; he alone possesses the map to life. To follow
him is to walk in safety through life and afterwards to enter into glory.
Christ, like that pillar of cloud and fire [that led Israel], guides us in
our pilgrimage.... "I am the Light of the World." We have in Him a better
guide through worse perplexities than theirs. By His Spirit within us, by
that all-sufficient and perfect example of His life, by the word of His
Gospel, and by the manifold indications of His providence, Jesus Christ is
our Guide. If ever we go astray, it is not His fault, but ours. How gentle
and loving that guidance is, none who have not yielded to it can tell. How
wise and sure, none but those who have followed it know. He does not say
"Go," but "Come." When He puts forth His sheep, He goes before them. In all
rough places His quick hand is put out to save us.... As one of the psalms
puts it, with wonderful beauty: "I will guide thee with mine eye"-a glance,
not a blow-a look of directing love, that at once heartens to duty and tells
duty. We must be very near Him to catch the look, and very much in sympathy
with Him to understand it, and when we do, we must be swift to obey. Our
eyes must be ever toward the Lord, or we shall often be marching on,
unwitting that the pillar has spread itself for rest, or idly dawdling in
our tents long after the cloud has gathered itself up for the march....
Let Him say, Go, and you go; Do this, and you gladly do it, until the hour
when He will whisper, Come; and as you come, the river will part, and the
journey will be over, and "the fiery, cloudy pillar," that "guided you all
your journey through," will spread itself out an abiding glory, in that
higher home where "the Lamb is the light thereof." Alexander Maclaren
[Spirit Filled Life Devotional SB]
I guess you can afford to be humble after all. You are not the real light of
the world. Jesus is. You are light because you are connected to Him, because
you follow Him.
You have no light of your own any more than the moon has light without the
sun or a light bulb has light without being connected to a power source.
Yes, we can rejoice because God has given us great privileges as Christians,
but we must be humble in our rejoicing. We are not the real light, but a
reflection or extension of the light in Jesus.
It is therefore of crucial importance that we, moment by moment, remain
connected to our source of spiritual power.
An illustration based on a Near Eastern lamp will help us here. Such a lamp
consisted of a bowl filled with oil, with a wick sticking out.
The oil was absolutely essential to the functioning of the lamp. Without a
supply of oil the lamp was useless and lightless.
So it is with us. We need the infilling of Christ through the Holy Spirit
each day. We cannot function as light without daily filling, without a
relationship with the Lord of light.
This filling is not something that takes place once for all time, at
conversion. No, we need to go to Jesus daily through prayer and a study of
His Word. As we receive the daily oil, we have light to pass on.
The wick is the other essential in such lamps. Once a wick gets frayed and
begins to smoke it fails to give light efficiently.. It needs to be trimmed
so that its light can shine brightly again.
So it is in our spiritual life. We need to day by day take stock of
ourselves in the light of God's love and the Beatitudes, and "trim" our
lives so that they can burn in such a way that they give light rather than
smoke. [Walking With Jesus By Knight]
"God is light" (1Jn 1:5). And as Jesus' followers reflect the light that
comes from him, they too are "the light of the world" (Mt 5:14; cf. Php
2:15). [NIV SB]
Since in him and upon him we live, we ought to live to him; since in him we
move, we ought to move towards him; and since in him we have our being, and
from him we receive all the supports and comforts of our being, we ought to
consecrate our being to him, and to apply to him for a new being, a better
being, an eternal well-being. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)