HAVE 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:  

Have

Light

of

Life

have: verb
to possess, own, or hold.
Light: Noun

Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Light

Light always involves the removal of darkness in the unfolding of biblical history and theology. The contrast of light and darkness is common to all of the words for "light" in both Old and New Testaments (esp. Heb. or [r/a]; Gk.phos [fw'"]). The literal contrast between metaphysical good and evil, God and evil forces, believers and unbelievers. The Bible entertains no thought that darkness is equal in power to God's light. God is the absolute Sovereign who rules over the darkness and the powers of evil.

Light Is GoodGod Is Light. If light represents goodness in antithesis to the evil associated with darkness, it is a natural step for the biblical authors to understand God, the ultimate good, as light. Light symbolizes the holy God. Light signifies God's presence and favor ( Psalm 27:1 ; Isa 9:2 ; 2 Cor 4:6 ) in contrast to God's judgment ( Amos 5:18 ).

of:  preposition

expressing the relationship between a part and a whole.
"the sleeve of his coat"
Life:  Noun
the existence of an individual human being or animal.

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Connection to Us

Notice this verse does not say we will SHARE the light of life; it says we will HAVE the light of life! This is HUGE to me!!!  I admit it, sometimes I want God all for myself!  I desire to have an INTIMATE relationship with Him!  I  want to know that I am special to God.  I long to know that He sees me among the huge crowd of people here on earth and that He LOVES me, Leslie Eaton!  I CRAVE Him!!  I know it may be bad for me to say this, but sometimes I feel a little bit hurt because I think since so many people worship and serve MY God that I only receive a small portion of His goodness and love.  By reading this verse and reflecting on the fact that it says "have"  not "share",  I realize that EACH and EVERY one of us can possess ALL of God's LOVE and GOODNESS for their very own!!! Let that thought sink in throughout your day today!!! By accepting Jesus Christ as your savior,  YOU CAN HAVE GOD'S GOODNESS AND LOVE FOR ALL OF ETERNITY!!!!  WOW!!!  God loves each and every one of us SO much!!!