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
Neither Do I Condemn You
Early in the morning Jesus came to the temple to teach the people. As He taught the crowd that had gathered, a group of men brought in a woman taken in the act of adultery, and asked Jesus what should be done to her, tempting Him. You know the story. Rather than answer them directly, Jesus quietly stooped down and wrote in the sand. Her accusers continued to press Jesus for an answer, so finally He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Then He continued writing in the sand. I wonder if He was writing their names—or their sins—for all to see. At any rate, one at a time, the woman’s accusers dropped their stones and quietly disappeared from view. When Jesus raised His head once again, none remained but the woman, and He asked her, “Where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?”
“No man, Lord,” she answered.
Then He said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.”
I AM the Light of the World
The turning back to those He had been teaching, He said, “I am the light of the world: he who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
The Feast of Tabernacles had recently ended, and the associated lights had been extinguished and put away. Yet though the earthly lights had gone out, the eternal Light shone on. The men who had brought the adulteress to Jesus no doubt believed they were following the Law to the letter (although it must be noted that they failed to bring her partner). They probably brought their sacrifices to the temple regularly and attended every feast. But when they were shown the true Light, they turned away and chose to walk in darkness. The woman, on the other hand, had been walking in darkness, but she chose to turn toward the Light, and she received forgiveness of sin.
Two Or Three Witnesses
If Jesus alone had told us He was the Light of the world, we would have every reason to believe Him. But we know His testimony is true because others have also given the same witness. John the Baptist saw Jesus walking toward him and boldly introduced Him as the long-awaited Messiah: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:1-4). These words would have had a tremendous impact upon the hearers because they would have known such Old Testament Scriptures as the following:
The beautiful psalms of David…
The LORD is my light and my salvation;Psalm 27:1
whom shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
For with You is the fountain of life:Psalm 36:9
in Your light shall we see light.
The stirring prophesies of Isaiah…
O house of Jacob, come, and let us walk in the light of the LORD.Isaiah 2:5
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light:Isaiah 9:2
they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them has the light shone.
And the light of Israel shall be for a fire,Isaiah 10:17
and His Holy One for a flame:
and it shall burn and devour His thorns and His briers in one day.
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not;Isaiah 42:16
I will lead them in paths that they have not known:
I will make darkness light before them,
and crooked things straight.
These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.
Then shall your light break forth as the morning,Isaiah 58:8
and your health shall spring forth speedily:
and your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Arise, shine; for your light is come,Isaiah 60:1,3,19,20
and the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
And the Gentiles shall come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
The sun shall be no more your light by day;
neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto you:
but the LORD shall be unto you an everlasting light,
and your God your glory.
Your sun shall no more go down;
neither shall your moon withdraw itself:
for the LORD shall be your everlasting light,
and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
And the triumphant truths of Micah…
Rejoice not against me, O my enemy:Micah 7:8-9
when I fall, I shall arise;
when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
I will bear the indignation of the LORD,
because I have sinned against Him,
until He plead my cause, and execute judgment for me:
He will bring me forth to the light,
and I shall behold His righteousness.
Can you imagine knowing these Scriptures and then hearing the words of John the Baptist, and then of Jesus, and realizing that this is He of whom the prophets spoke! This is the Light of the world! Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna! What joy it must have been to turn from darkness to light, to have the scales removed from one’s eyes, to see how the picture of the temple sacrifice pointed all along to the Savior who had come to redeem man from sin—all of man, for the prophets say that even the Gentiles will come to the light (Isa. 60:3). And how sad for those who, though religious, could not see the Light, and turned from Him to walk in darkness toward the precipice of eternal destruction and damnation. Jesus came to save them all, but not all would be redeemed. He does not force anyone to accept the gift of salvation, but He offers it to all. You have to come to Jesus; you have to come to the Light.
No matter who you are, no matter what your station in life, or where you live, the Light of the world says to you: “Come, follow Me.”
Image credited to nikkiboruch.com