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When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12 (New International Version)

You likely have a flashlight or two in your home. They're helpful when peering into dark spaces or poorly lit corners to locate objects. But they are essential for those occasional times when your home loses electricity. The lack of light may be annoying in the daytime, but having a light source is critical at nighttime. You may stumble around in the dark and fumble around in the the cluttered drawers until you locate that desperately needed flashlight. 

Before today's passage, the Pharisees had brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus, seeking permission to stone her. The real purpose was to entrap Jesus, but you get the feeling they wouldn't have been disappointed to heave a few rocks. When asked what they should do, Jesus replies, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." (8:7). Soon afterward, they all skulk away, leaving Jesus alone with the women. When looking up from writing in the dirt, Jesus asks the woman where everyone went, and upon hearing they had all left, he says to her, "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." (8:11)

But those challenges didn't go far. They soon came back questioning Jesus again, leading to the opening verse in this passage: "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life" (8:12). The Pharisees challenged Him, questioning the validity of His testimony. Jesus responded, emphasizing that His testimony was valid because He knew where He came from and where He was going. He also had his Father as a witness.

Jesus' challengers that day were in the dark–though they thought they were standing in the light. They failed to notice the darkness around them. They had grown so accustomed to stumbling around and bumping into objects that they could not recognize their need for the flashlight that stood before them. The slavishness to the Law had closed their eyes to the Light. They were so steeped in ritual and tradition that, while awaiting the Messiah, they failed to see him when he came. Jesus said to them, "You do not know me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would know my Father also." (8:19) 

When we lose electricity, we automatically look for a light source–physically, the darkness makes us uncomfortable. We must be spiritually aware of when we are being surrounded by darkness. Just as we need a flashlight to navigate physical darkness, we need the light of life found in Jesus and the Holy Spirit to navigate spiritual darkness and guide us through life's challenges. Through the light of the Son, we come to know the Father.

As we pause and reflect on the message from this passage and its significance of Jesus as the light of the world, let us offer a prayer seeking God's guidance and illumination in our lives:

Heavenly Father,

We come before you, acknowledging that you are the world's light. Jesus declared, "Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." We seek that light, Lord.

When darkness surrounds us in our moments of uncertainty, we ask for Your guidance. Illuminate our paths, dispel our fears, and lead us toward truth. May we walk in the radiance of your presence, knowing that your light brings clarity, hope, and purpose.

Forgive us when we judge by human standards, forgetting that your ways are higher. Teach us to see with spiritual eyes, to discern beyond appearances, and to extend grace to others. May we be vessels of your love, reflecting your light to a needy world.

As Jesus stood firm in His testimony, let us stand unwavering in our faith. Remind us that our testimony is valid because you know us. Our identity rests not in our strength but in the One who sent us—the Father who bears witness to our lives.

Lord, reveal yourself to us. Open our hearts to know you intimately. May we recognize your presence every moment, even when circumstances seem dark.

In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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