Jesus is the Light of the World.

What is your cause?

People follow causes that appear to be good. However, in Proverbs 21:2, it says that every man does what’s right in his own eyes. In the book of John, the cause of a group of righteous leaders appears to be right. Yet Jesus assesses their cause completely differently and condemns them.

Jesus is asking us, "who are you following?", not "what is your cause?" Your cause is not enough because if it’s apart from Jesus, it will lead to destruction.

The Clear Contrast

Let’s discuss how the causes of the world stand in contrast to who Jesus is.

We’ve been talking about the festival of booths (the Feast of Tabernacles) during these chapters of John's book. One part of the festival was the light ceremony, with huge candles that required a ladder to reach and flaming torches held by dancing priests. It was a grand celebration of God’s protection and promises.

In this atmosphere, in the middle of all of this, Jesus says in verse 18, “I AM the Light.” Jesus was the One who gave them manna, drink, and life in the wilderness and for eternity, but the world missed it. These ceremonies were there to point to the person of Jesus Christ. But the religious leaders were too focused on their cause to see Jesus as the Light that would reveal and display all things.

There is a clear contrast of who Jesus is in John 8:22, 23, and 29.

The Compassionate Call

In verse 12, Jesus makes an exclusive call: “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” He calls every person to follow Him; and whoever does not come will walk in darkness.

When the Pharisees challenged Him, saying His testimony was false about who He is and the outcome of not following Him, Jesus says the Father testifies of Him. Jesus is the Word. Jesus could display His power supremely, but instead, he walked around healing, teaching, and declaring gently who He is. He called them to follow Him, but they didn't understand. The Light in the Word was standing in the midst of the religious people, and they missed it!

The Concrete Consequence

Three times Jesus declared that "you will die in your sins" if you do not follow Him. Those who reject Jesus will walk in darkness. We will all die because of sin, and we cannot bring anything with us. But unbelievers will die in their sins.

We will bring nothing with us into the next life (eternity) except one thing. We will be better off if that thing is Jesus. If we are without Jesus, we will walk into eternity with our sins. Have you asked God’s forgiveness for those sins based on the eternal redemptive work of Jesus Christ?

Application Points

  • Just like when Jesus was amongst religious people but they did not understand who Jesus was, we will have those around us who see our witness but don’t come to believe. Don’t give up, even if it takes 6 months, 6 years, or 60 years for someone to come to the saving knowledge of who Jesus Christ is. God’s word is powerful to bring people to salvation. So don’t give up speaking the truth to your neighbor!
  • You may think, "I have done so much wrong and gave so much abuse to others. Could Jesus save me?" Yes, He can. No one is too abusive and no one too broken to be redeemed by Jesus.
  • The world is a dark place without the Light of Jesus Christ. If you already follow Christ, you need to go out into the world as light-bearers, declaring the truth of God’s Word and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore:
  • John 1:4 - Jesus is the Life
  • John 7:37
  • Matthew 18:16
  • Romans 1