Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.”
Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me. Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”
Jesus was speaking in the part of the Temple where the offerings were put (John 8:20), where candles burned to symbolize the pillar of fire that led the people of Israel through the desert (Exodus 13:21-22). In this context, Jesus called himself the light of the world. The pillar of fire represented God’s presence, protection, and guidance. Jesus brings God’s presence, protection, and guidance.
Jesus Christ is the creator of life, and his life brings light to humankind (see John 1:4). In his light, we see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior). When we follow Jesus, the true light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. He lights the path ahead of us so we can see how to live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives.
Because of his declaration, the Pharisees thought Jesus was either a lunatic or a liar. Jesus provided them with a third alternative: He was telling the truth. Because most of the Pharisees refused to consider the third alternative, they never recognized him as Messiah and Lord. If you are seeking to know who Jesus is, do not close any door before looking through it honestly. Only with an open mind will you know the truth that he is Messiah and Lord.
Is Jesus the light of your world? In what ways have you allowed the light of Jesus to shine into your life? Let Jesus guide your life, and you’ll never need to stumble in darkness.