S (Scripture): John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke out again, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
O (Observation): Jesus has somehow confused the Pharisees again. John’s gospel has Jesus saying quite a few things that are out of left field, like: “I am the light.”
Light, in Jewish culture, represented God’s presence. In the temple, for example, a flame is lit, to remind the people of God’s presence. Also, during the Exodus, God led the Hebrew people by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
So, for Jesus to say that he is the light is to equate himself with God! This is blasphemy!
As he embodies the light, people will respond to Jesus either into belief or disbelief. Jesus didn’t come to judge/condemn as the Pharisees do, but in giving people the option to believe in him as the light or not…is a sense of judgment. But whereas the Pharisees only offer condemnation, Jesus offers life and light.
A (Application): How often are we presented with options in which we choose the evil, or wrong (I.e. darkness)? Free will, while great, does present us with choices in this world. To eat the fruit of The Tree, or not…
How often do we follow the light? This question can get us into a slippery slope. We can start really going negative here, and throw ourselves into fits of angst, not unlike what Martin Luther felt, as he was under what he only knew as an Angry God out to judge us for our every evil act.
Folks…as Jesus comes to us, we have but one call: Repent and Believe. We have goofed things up. We have had trouble and will always have trouble. Yet our God is not angry with you or me. Our God calls us, daily, into the light. We approach God’s throne of grace, and repent, and receive forgiveness.
In my baptism as an infant, I know that God chose to establish an everlasting covenant with me. God knew I would screw up, but that’s not the point. For me, the point is that God would always shine the light for me. A steady beacon for me when I wander off the path.
What does the light look like for you? Supportive family and church? A good friend? Scripture? Holy Communion?
Do you feel like the fog is so heavy that you can’t see the light?
P (Prayer): Lord of Light, bring us out of the darkness into your redeeming light. Amen.