In this sermon, we explore Jesus’ second “I Am” statement: “I am the light of the world.” This important metaphor helps us unpack Jesus’ true identity. Light is a theme that runs clear across the pages of Scripture, from very beginning to very end. It’s within this biblical narrative, this arc of light, that we begin to see the brilliance of what Jesus is doing here in John 8.
The passage is broken down in three parts:
1) A Dazzling Claim: In the ancient world, light was a much bigger deal than now. Without lights, the darkness wasn’t just inconvenient, it was deadly dangerous. Light equals warmth, protection, guidance, and hope. Light is life. So when Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life, ” He is saying, essentially, “I am life itself.” If you want life – true, real, abundant LIFE – follow Him.
Jesus is the new glory cloud blazing the way of life. He presents himself as the light, the fiery glory cloud come to lead the whole world into life, and yet the Pharisees are looking for a way to snuff Him out. Jesus says the reason they can’t see the light is that they’re blinded to both who He is and who the Father is.
2) A Piercing Danger: So, what if you don’t believe in the fiery cloud? What if you’re trying to catch it in a contradiction? What if it’s standing right in front of you and you’re so blinded you can’t even see it? Well then, when it departs, all hope is lost. Jesus proclaims a warning to those who don’t want to see Him for who He is: the glory cloud is about to depart, follow while you can. But they again misunderstand Him. So Jesus must clarify for them again that He is the “I AM” of Scripture, and unless you believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. This is a piercing warning.
3) A Blazing Proof: Whenever Jesus uses this language of being “lifted up” He is always referring to the cross, when He will be lifted up and will draw all people to Himself. And here’s the irony: they, the Pharisees, will be the ones to do it. “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM.” (John 8:28) Here, Jesus is saying that His glory will shine in unmistakable radiance when they kill Him. Then His glory will be revealed for all the world to see.
What’s our takeaway from this message? Bad things grow in the dark. It’s time to let the light in.
- Come to the light
- Walk in the light
- Share the light