John 8:12. Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8:25. So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Who is Jesus? How would you answer that question? How did Jesus answer that question?
John 8 takes place in the Temple courtyard in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. Four giant torches would have illuminated the entire area making the temple visible for miles. It is into this setting that Jesus makes this audacious claim like no other – I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of the life.
Notice what Jesus doesn’t say. He doesn’t say I point to the light. Or I reveal the light. No. Jesus says I AM the light of the life. Jesus isn’t pushing a religion here. He’s not telling us to memorize a creed or practice a bunch of “isms.” He’s telling us that we must simply know and trust him, relying solely on what he has done, never on what we will do.
Every word in Jesus’ sentence is a claim to his deity. God alone is the light of Israel (Ps. 27:1). God’s light was followed in the wilderness (Ex. 13:21). God’s Messiah will be a light to the nations (Is. 49:6). God will come to reign as perpetual light in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:5-7). And what about the life that he is offering? Is it merely physical life (bios) or soul life (psyche). No. Jesus is offering those who believe his own divinely powered spiritual zoe life. The tree of life (Gen. 2).
And then there’s the two little words that begin the sentence. I am. Ego eimi.
Ever since the burning bush where God told Moses that he is the great I Am, no Hebrew would ever say those two words together. To say “I am” would be considered a blasphemous claim to deity. “I am” is reserved only for God.
So here’s Jesus’ blasphemy in John 8:
John 8:12. I am the light of the world.
John 8:23-24. He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
John 8:28. So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he.”
And then Jesus went too far and left the I am just hanging out there.
John 8:58-59. Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
But what does all this mean to us? It means that if we really want to know God, we must go through Jesus. We must know Jesus to know God. And to know Jesus, to trust his claims, to receive his light and life, we must go through the cross and the resurrection. We must go through the gospel.
John 8:28. So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man (the crucifixion), then (at the resurrection) you will know that I am he.”
How do we know Jesus’ claims are true? By simply looking at his death and resurrection. It is there in his gospel that we find God. It is in the cross and the empty tomb that we see exactly who God is. The great I Am, our Light and our Life, is the One who would die for us and who would live for us forever.
And now, in Christ, the Light and the Life lives IN us. No more walking in darkness. No more doubting God’s faithfulness toward you. No more insecurity about God’s love for you. No more confusion about God’s purpose for your life. No more aimless wandering searching for meaning and happiness. Every question has been answered, and the answer is Jesus. The dark day of his cross has broken through all the darkness in us with the burning light of the great I Am. The light and life of “to live is Christ.”
Who do you say Jesus is?
You in Christ
In Christ you have the light and life of the great I Am. How can this answer all your questions today?
Christ in you
Where can Christ’s light and life be displayed in you today?
Playlist: I Am.
Click Here listen to this playlist on Spotify!
To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here