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Opening: Ever come down the stairs in the dark? I should’ve counted… Light guides and protects… Missed the last step… Guides my step and protects my backside… Guides my eye – where to step [exposure]; Protects my ignorance – unknown. By exposure.
Series: I AM statements… All in John. John’s regular use of light – PHOS. Uses in John’s Gospel 23; Uses in the NT 73
Key Text: John 8:12 (NIV)
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me [“whoever becomes my disciple.” Adherent] will never walk in darkness, but will have [possess, have, hold] the light of life.” “the light that shows people how they may live.”
Who He is… LIGHT. What we are to do… FOLLOW. What we then become… LIGHT or REFLECTORS
3 Action Steps from this verse: KNOW the LIGHT. FOLLOW the LIGHT. BE the LIGHT.
Worship Song. Here I am to Worship… “Light of the world you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes, let me see…”
Jesus Christ is LIGHT, He is the Active Power that dispels darkness – light of truth, dispelling darkness of falsehood; wisdom/ignorance; holiness/impurity; joy/sorrow; life/death [things don’t grow in the dark –light promotes life and growth].
The more immediate context of our verse John 8:12 is chapter 7 – and the Feast of Tabernacles [Feast of Lights]. Teaching, division and disputes ch. 7-12…
Setting and Context: Festival of Tabernacles [Feast of Lights] – remembering God’s provision during 40 years of wondering in the wilderness… Guidance via Pillar of Fire.
Festival and Dawn. Exodus 13:21-22 “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
Part of the context is developing the reaction from the religious leaders who knew that Jesus was saying he was God and the Messiah based on prophesy in OT Isaiah 42 + 49 – “make my servant, my chosen one, upon whom I put my Spirit, a light for the nations [world]…”
Nearly the last verse of OT… Malachi 4:2 (NIV) “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays…”
When Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms in the temple he sang: “… because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death.” (Luke 1:78–79)
Glorified Christ in Rev. 1 – “His face was like the sun shining in all it’s brilliance.”
Reaction – Prove it! Never enough proof when selfish agendas are the priority.
Jesus claims escalate the animosity towards him by the religious leaders. “I am the light of the world.” The emphatic ἐγώ means I and I alone, I and no other. I, I indeed! Does the exclusivity of Jesus and his claims escalate you? Humbling
Look at the strong reaction in v. 13… WHY? John 3:19 (NIV) “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”
- Know the light.
What is Light, it’s impact/influence – what does it do?
Light exposes things – No secrets… Women of earlier verses… The woman didn’t come to Jesus but her dark deeds were exposed. Even when your secrets are exposed, Jesus offers forgiveness.
Light overcomes / dispels darkness – Hubble, no place universe where light doesn’t penetrate darkness… Black holes… Darkness does not consume light. Open door house, light goes out; darkness doesn’t come in…
Light is a guide, Shows the way… would you rather have a map or a guide? Family Olympics at Bethany Beach – blind folded… I’d rather be guided by the light of the sun than the instructions of man…
Light brings order out of chaos… Genesis 1:3–5, God has always been about using light to separate darkness. God speaks into the chaos and brings order. Darkness often signifies chaos and evil. Light signifies life, illumination, vision… Do you have life, been illuminated, have a vision? Comes from Jesus, the LIGHT of the world.
Light causes fear to those content/comfortable with their sin… John 3:19–21 (NIV)
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
Are you afraid? Ps 27 says THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND SALVATION, SO WHY SHOULD I BE AFRAID… IS HE YOUR LIGHT? Your Salvation?
I am THE light, not A light… many illumination options… what lights your path…
Do YOU know the Light? Matthew 7:21–23 (NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
So, now we know that Jesus is Light… Is that enough? Know Cal Ripken, Ray Lewis… Know about, vs. Know them personally
You know about them, but do you KNOW them?
Hobbit from Lord of the Rings…
John 8:24 “ if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” Inherited sin… Believe = confidence, trust, faith, commitment…
To know intellectually vs. apprehend/trust. Who He is, What He’s Done…
Charles Blondin, a French tightrope walker, especially owed his celebrity and fortune to his idea to cross the Niagara Gorge (on the Canada–US border) on a tightrope, 1,100 ft (340 m) long, 3.25 in (8.3 cm) in diameter and 160 ft (49 m) above the water, near the location of the current Rainbow Bridge. This he did on 30 June 1859, and a number of times thereafter, often with different theatrical variations: blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, carrying a man (his manager, Harry Colcord) on his back, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelette, or standing on a chair with only one of its legs balanced on the rope
Blondin/Chair/Demons. Who He is [John 1:1, 4-5, 14; and restated over and over]… What He did…His Mission Statement – John 12:46 (NIV) “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”
Believes! What does that mean? Linguist with Wycliff Bible Translators [Natalie]
John 12:36 (NIV)
36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Do you KNOW Him, the Light? Trust Him today!
- 2. Follow the light… If you’ve got it, use it!
Having the light is good, following it is better!
Chainsaw, what’s that noise?, don’t carry a flashlight and not turn the light on – you will trip.
To KNOW God is to be justified; to FOLLOW Him is to be sanctified. There is more! 1 John 2:6; Phil 1:6. Receiving Christ is not a finish line, but a starting line.
Where he leads me I will follow, feeds/swallow –; Festival – Pillar of fire: You stop, I stop; you go, I go… Prov 3:5-6
The word follow is used of a slave following a master, a military term of following a leader, a student following a teacher. It is used to following the law.
How does He lead us: Word, Spirit, People… Must saturate yourself in Word, Eccl 12; Hid my heart. Lamp unto my feet.
Leads me Follow; Feeds me Swallow.
Will you follow Him into a dessert? Hosea 2
How does he lead from HERE to THERE? Big decisions…
He’s the Leader / Guide – Light is a guide, Shows the way… would you rather have a map or a guide? thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, don’t carry a flashlight and not turn the light on – you will trip.
Psalm 119:105 (NIV) Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Photography – overexposure. God offers just the right exposure. Doesn’t blind us like a spot light [Frederick – shine the spot], just enough light to take the next step. [Lights down]
How does He lead? Word, Spirit, People…
Follow, safety motorcycle in rain truck lights. Lamp / Light unto my path – not spotlight… 1 step at a time [give us this day our daily bread] Dependence.
Inner harbor fireworks return trip. Motorcycle ride back in the rain, Proverbs 3 5 and 6. Be a disciple, go along…to follow (a leader) v. — to accept and follow the leadership, command, or guidance of. Follow = obey, be a disciple… Vision of BCC – To be a multicultural body of fully devoted followers of Christ moving forward in unity & love to reach our community, our culture & our world for Jesus Christ.
We must stay close to the light… Camping, campfire or need latrine at night.
He’s the Master – To follow is to submit to the master… Who’s in charge?
John 12:26 (NIV) 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
James 1:1 (NIV) “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” Brother! Vs. Slave, doulos – at times translated Bondservant… 126 times in NT, theme?
He Illuminates – Part of following Jesus means that we allow him and even beg him 2 expose our darkness.
Psalm 139:23–24 (NIV)
23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
To Follow is to Imitate… school Leader or Follower? Followers try to imitate…
Ephesians 5:1–2 (NIV) “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” WWJD
- Be the light or reflect the light. John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” HAVE, not just SEE but Posess! Now let it shine!
Only communicable trait in the I AM statements… bread, way, truth, life, vine, gate…
Philippians 2:15 (NIV) “…you will shine among them like stars in the sky”
Matthew 5:14–16 (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
This Little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine hide it under a bushel no I’m going to let it shine. Coach George in the hot tub. Dispel darkness… Cordish language 1st and 2nd.
Ephesians 5:8–9 (NIV) 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)
How are your reflectors? Dirt bike reflectors…
If Light dispels Darkness, YOU can dispel darkness… People come at you Dark, give ‘em Light. Karate – soft on hard…
We can interpret circumstances correctly, and help others. James 1, Rom 8:28. Everything takes on the new light with the illumination of Jesus! Difficulties, death, tragedy. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints… The light illuminates everything for us so that we see it accurately. God sheds light on tragedy and death to allow us to see his Divine purposes. Light helps us see with our eyes and see with our hearts the better story. People who are the light help others have a new perspective. We are naturally encouragers because we see God working where they may only see circumstances. God is too wise, loving, powerful…
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV) 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Colossians 1:13–14 (NIV)
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
KNOW the LIGHT. FOLLOW the LIGHT. BE the LIGHT.