Saturday 10 February 2024

JOHN 8 v 12-30


The Pharisees continue to dispute with Jesus when he claims to be the light of the world, but the Jewish leaders would not accept his claim. Jesus said they were judging him by the flesh, which means by human standards.

The scene of the argument was in the Temple Treasury. This was situated in the Court of Women, so named as women could not proceed further than that, unless they were offering a sacrifice at the altar of the priests. Around the Court was a colonnade or porch, where chests for offerings were placed.

In this passage, Jesus made his claim in a vivid impressive setting. The Feast of Tabernacles was being held, and a ceremony called the Illumination  of the Temple. There were four great candelabra, and when the dark came they were lit up, and ablaze of light shone around Jerusalem, and all the courtyards of the city.  They were lit until dawn, and all kinds of men danced before the Lord, and sang psalms of praise to God whilst people watched.

Jesus was saying you have seen the blaze of light piercing the darkness, I am the light of the world for those who follow me.  There will  be light for only one night , but followers of me will be for life.  The light in the Temple in the end dies, I am then the light that goes on for ever.

The phrase light of life, means two things, the light which gives life; Jesus is the very light of God.  Jesus was talking about following him, which means to be a follower who gives body and soul, and one’s spirit to the obedience of the Master. When we walk alone, we are likely to fall or go the wrong way, we need heavenly guidance to walk the right way.

When Jesus made his claim to be the light of the world, the Jewish leaders  reacted with hostility. To them it would be a claim only God. could make.  The Rabbis declared the name of the Messiah is light.

Jesus deals with his right to judge. His coming into the world was for judgment.  His claim was for love, for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, and all who believe  in him, would have eternal life.

Jesus told the Jewish leaders bluntly, they had no real knowledge of God.  The fact that they did not recognize him for who he was, and what he was, was the proof they did not really know God.  The whole history of Israel ws so made they should have recognized the Son of God.

Jesus was told his opponents he was going away, and after he had gone they would realize what they had missed, and will search but not find him.  this is a reminder for us. For everyone there is an opportunity to decide to accept Christ into their life, but the time is limited, and know not when their limit will end.  There is good reason to decide now Just as there is opportunity there is also judgment.

When Jesus spoke about going away, he was talking of his return to his Father and glory, and he could not be followed.  The Jews thought he might mean he would kill himself. Jesus said if they refused him, they would die in their sins.

The one who refuses to accept him as Lord and Savior will die with life frustrated, and life incomplete.  Sin separates us from God,  To refuse Christ, is a stranger to God, to accept him is to be a friend to God.

Jesus went on to draw contrasts.  His opponents belong to earth, he is from heaven. They are of this world, he is not. The world is the opposite of heaven. He came to save this world from heaven, he was sent by God.  The world is God’s creation, it was through God’s word that the world as made. However bad the world is, God would never abandon the world.

But when the creator came into the world, the world did not recognize him,  the world does not know the spirit of  God, and there is hostility to God.  The world is separate from God, yet between God and the world. there is no gulf that cannot be spanned.

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