John 8:12 - The Second I AM - Jesus is the Light of the World!
John 8:12: The Second I AM - Jesus the Light of the World! Are
You Walking In It?
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.]
John 8:12 (TLB) Later, in one of his talks, Jesus said to the
people, "I am the Light of the world. So if you follow me, you won't be
stumbling through the darkness, for living light will flood your path."
The "I AM" Statements of John's Gospel
Twenty-three times in all we find our Lord's meaningful "I AM"
in the Greek text of this Gospel (4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12,
18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5,
6, 8). In several of these He joins His "I AM" with seven
tremendous metaphors which are expressive of his saving relationship toward
"I AM the Bread of Life" (6:35, 41, 48, 51).
"I AM the Light of the World" (8:12).
"I AM the Door of the sheep" (10:7, 9).
"I AM the Good Shepherd" (10:11, 14).
"I AM the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25).
"I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (14:6).
"I AM the true Vine" (15:1, 5). [Believer's SB]
When God said to Moses, "I am that I am" (Exodus 3:14), He was
announcing the name by which He wished to be known and worshiped in
Israel.... Jesus, by saying, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before
Abraham was, I am" (John 8:58), He was identifying Himself with the God
of Israel..... Jesus explained even further who He was throughout
I am the Bread of Life (6:35).
I am the Light of the World (8:12).
I am the Gate for the sheep (10:7).
I am the Good Shepherd (10:11, 14).
I am the Resurrection and the Life (11:25).
I am the Way and the Truth and the Life (14:6).
I am the true Vine (15:1) [Your Daily Walk SB]
One of the distinctives of the Gospel of John is its series of
"I am" sayings of Jesus. Their significance is underlined in 8:58,
in which Jesus announces that "before Abraham was born, I am!" His
hearers understood the implicit claim, for they knew full well that "I
am" is the Greek equivalent of YHWH, Yahweh, the revelatory and
personal name of God that vitalizes the Old Testament. What are the "I
am" statements in John, and how do they display the deity that Jesus
"I am the bread of life" (6:35). Jesus is the One who sustains
physical and spiritual life.
"I am the Light of the World" (8:12). Jesus is the source of
"I am the Gate for the sheep" (10:7). Jesus provides access to
God and salvation.
"I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11). Jesus lays down His life for
us, His sheep.
"I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25). Jesus is the
source and giver of life eternal.
"I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (14:6). Jesus alone
provides access to God the Father and all of the Father's good gifts to
"I am" the true vine (15:1). Jesus is the source of spiritual
vitality. By remaining close to Him we are enabled to bring forth fruit
and so glorify God. [Victor Bible Background Commentary mod]
This is the second great "I am" [Believer's SB]
The second great "I am" of Jesus, spoken with divine authority.
Jesus is the source of spiritual enlightenment. [Passages Of Life SB]
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]
Light in Jewish literature is often a reference to the Messiah
(cf. Isa. 9:2). [New Bible Companion]
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." 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
"That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world." DA463-4
As the Light of the world, Christ claimed to be God, for God is
light (1 John 1:5). [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
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]
The sun, the fountain of light, is also the fountain of life: by
his vivifying influences, all things live-- neither animal nor
vegetative life could exist, were it not for his influence. Jesus, the Sun
of righteousness, <Mal. 4:2>, is the fountain of all spiritual and
eternal LIFE. His light brings life with it, and they who walk in his
light live in his life. (Adam Clarke Commentary)
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
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
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. Co-operation
with that power is man's greatest need. ED29
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 Commentary]
"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]
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
"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more
and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18. Every step of faith
and obedience brings the soul into closer connection with the Light
of the world, in whom there "is no darkness at all." The bright
beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine upon the servants of God, and
they are to reflect His rays. As the stars tell us that there is a
great light in heaven with whose glory they are made bright, so
Christians are to make it manifest that there is a God on the throne of the
universe whose character is worthy of praise and imitation. The graces of
His Spirit, the purity and holiness of His character, will be
manifest in His witnesses. GC475,6
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. [Barclay Commentary]
If we humble our hearts before God, empty them of vanity and
pride and selfishness, through the grace abundantly bestowed upon us;
if we sincerely desire and unwaveringly believe, the bright beams
of the Sun of Righteousness will shine into our minds, and
illuminate our darkened understanding. FE183
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
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
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]
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]
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)
Not only is Jesus the light; He is also the life (chs. 11:25;
14:6; see on ch. 1:4). He that receives Him receives life: "He that
hath the Son hath life" (1 John 5:12). In Jesus is "life, original,
unborrowed, underived" (DA 530). He came to this earth that men "might have
life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). "God
hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son" (1 John
5:11). [SDA Commentary]