I am the Light of the World…Light of Life

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“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). This is a very rich metaphor. Light gives sight, without it we can see nothing, we are blind. Sin is darkness. Evil is always done in the dark.

Jesus is the light of the world. He has conquered the darkness of sin and death. If we follow him, we will no longer be fooled by the darkness of sin. We will see it for what it is and we will turn away from it, back to the Light of the World, Jesus.

The Pharisees do not understand Jesus when he says this. They try to argue with him using a very recognizable tactic that is not unknown to us today. It is almost like they are proto-relativists. They say that Jesus is just testifying to his own truth (see verse 13). But Jesus, who is the source of all that is true and he knows who he is and where he came from and why he is here. He counters their cynicism with the truth: “You judge by appearances, but I do not judge anyone. And even if I should judge, my judgement is valid, because I am not alone, but it is I and the Father who sent me” (verse 15-16). Jesus is countering their argument by appealing to the Mosaic law that says that if something is testified to by two men it is verified. Who could say this with such certitude? Only the One who calls himself “I Am Who Am,” the One Who is, was and always will be, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Pharisees, of course, refuse to hear. They only become more cynical and spiteful. When Jesus speaks of the Father having sent him, they say, “Where is your father?” And Jesus speaks the truth to them and their blind judgments about him. “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (verse 19). And he is saying this to us today as well. If we know Jesus, we also know the Father who sent him. He is the “I AM,” the truth that we are all in search of in our lives. He is the Source and the Goal of all that is true. This is the light that our hearts and minds yearn for every day. Look to Jesus, then. He IS “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God” (Nicene Creed). He is truly “the light of the world.”

Jesus, We are so often lost in the darkness, staring at mere shadows on the back wall of a cave and calling them the truth. Help us to see the light of your truth and to turn away from the darkness of our sins. Fill our hearts with a burning desire to draw ever closer to your light, until we can see you fully, in the face, in paradise. We pray these things in your name, Jesus. Amen!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.