I AM…The Light of the World
“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.””
John 8:12 NASB1995
The second “I Am” statement in the Gospel of John is in verse 8:12. Jesus is at the Feast of the Tabernacles in Jerusalem. Just before he makes this statement in the Court of the Women at the Temple, the Gospel of John records the incident of the adulterous woman that the Pharisees and Scribes want to stone to death; they bring the woman to Jesus looking for affirmation of her death sentence. After He denies them that affirmation and they leave, He tells the woman to go and sin no more; He then returns to the Temple and immediately makes this statement about being the Light of the World.
One of the activities of the Feast of the Tabernacles was the lighting of lanterns every evening during the Feast, commemorating the 40 years of wandering in the desert by the nation of Israel in Exodus. God made His presence known to His people with a pillar of fire at night and a pillar of cloud during the day, leading them through the wilderness. Jesus, in His perfect timing, captures the beauty of that light all around Him during this Feast and claims His Lordship and Light over the world. An excellent commentary on this verse is found in the sermons of John MacArthur:
The light, of course, is a magnificent metaphor. Light is the active power that dispels darkness. And Jesus Christ is the light of truth that dispels the darkness of falsehood. Jesus Christ is the light of wisdom that dispels the darkness of ignorance. Jesus Christ is the light of holiness that dispels the darkness of impurity. Jesus Christ is the light of joy that dispels the darkness of sorrow.
Jesus Christ is the light of life that dispels the darkness of death. When He says, “I am the light of the world,” He even uses the tetragrammaton, the I am. The claim to be God, and the claim to be Messiah. To say, “I am the light of the world,” is to identify yourself as God. Psalm 27:1. The psalm has said, “The Lord is might light and my salvation.” First John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” They understood what he was saying. He was claiming to be God. He was claiming to be the Messiah, the light.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the Light of the World.
The next “I Am” statement I will explore is from John 10:11 - I am the Door.
Photo by Severin Höin on Unsplash