The Light

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John 8:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

History Behind this Verse

Historians are not one hundred perfect certain who authored the book of John, but they do all note that the book of John reads as an eye witness account of Jesus' ministry. The author of this book describes himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved".  He writes with one main purpose:  to prove the divinity of Jesus. The word, "believe" appears over 100 times in the book of John. The author wants us to BELIEVE that Jesus IS the Son of God!  Verse 12 of this chapter takes place as Jesus is teaching to a multitude of people.  These people had traveled to Jerusalem for the purpose of celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of the Tabernacles was a yearly celebration that was (and is) a very important part of Jewish tradition. It was a way to help all Jews to remember their ancestors' desert wandering and to recall how at the end of the 40 years, God  led His people to the promised land.  It was a time for all Jewish people to gather together and celebrate all the ways God had blessed both them and their ancestors before them. During this feast there were several traditions.  One tradition was for different religious men to stand and teach lessons and sermons to all who had gathered. The teachers who considered themselves the most important would usually try to speak the crowd first. It is interesting to note that Jesus did the opposite.  He waited until close to the end of the event to share His teachings. To me, this is a great demonstration of WHO Jesus is!  This public event would be the first time that several of these people had ever heard Jesus speak. His teachings on this day consisted of "I am" statements. Jesus used this opportunity to introduce himself to all the people gathered at the feast. This was His chance to share His purpose and LOVE with the Jewish people of this time. Jesus knew that some of the people at this celebration were religious, but they weren't necessarily followers of  "The Truth".  He knew that some of the people were so concerned with using the 10 commandments to judge others that they would not be ready to hear His offer of LOVE and GRACE.  Jesus understood before He even began to speak that many of the people present were waiting for a strict and punishing messiah to appear. He used these "I Am" statements to paint a clear picture to the Jewish people of who their Messiah actually was and IS!

Throughout the book of John, Jesus declared 7 "I Am" statements:

  1. Bread

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger.” John 6:35

  1. Light

 “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12  

     3.  Gate     

 “I am the gate; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9

    4.  Good Shepherd     

 “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.” John 10:11

  1. Resurrection and Life

“I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies.” John 11:25

  1. Way, Truth, Life

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6

  1. True vine

 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser.” John 15:1

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Key Words: The Light

Definition of the-

definite article

(used to mark a proper noun, natural phenomenon, ship, building, time,

point of the compass, branch of endeavor, or field of study as something well-known or unique):

the sun; the Alps; the Queen Elizabeth; the past; the West.

Definition of light (according to life)- noun

Light is something that sustains all life on this planet. All things need energy to grow. We get energy from the food we eat. Plants get energy from light through a process called photosynthesis. This is how light affects the growth of a plant. Without light, a plant would not be able to produce the energy it needs to grow.

Definition of Light (broad term): noun
           1. the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible
           2. understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment.
           3. source of energy that enables photosynthesis in plants
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Connection To Us Today
Just as plants need sunlight for their nourishment and growth, we also need "son" light for our nourishment and growth. Plants blocked from sunlight will eventually wither and die. Likewise, our faith, trust and love will eventually wither and die if we are blocked from THE LIGHT! We must intentionally place ourselves in THE LIGHT  in order to grow and thrive spiritually.  To do this we must receive nourishment daily by reading and meditating on The Word and praying to our Heavenly Father.
*Let's challenge and encourage each other to daily LEAN toward THE LIGHT!