Thursday, March 22, 2012

John 8:12-30

How thankful I am to be back in God’s Word this morning! In this long passage from John 8, Jesus has just dealt with the Pharisees seeking to trip Him up with the woman caught in adultery. These men, who were supposed to be leading their people to God, were in darkness themselves - the blind leading the blind. So in the next passage, Jesus turns from the Pharisees and speaks directly to the people again:

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.” (John 8:12)

Oh my goodness! There is darkness all around us - people unable to see where they are headed, wandering around completely lost. Jesus claims here to be the Light that will dispel all darkness; He is the Light that gives life. This statement confounds the Pharisees, who argued that Jesus’ testimony about Himself could not be valid, because the Law required the testimony of two witnesses (Deut 19:15). Throughout this long cross-examination by the Pharisees, Jesus calmly made claims that would be outrageous if not true:

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going... I stand with the Father, who sent me. (vs.14,16)

In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me... You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (vs.17-18)

Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” (vs. 21)

“I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.” (vs. 24)

What remarkable statements! What did Jesus mean when He said, “you will indeed die in your sins?” If people have not received the gift of salvation from sin by receiving Christ as their Savior, they have no remedy before God for their sins. They are not cleansed of sin and forgiven except through the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. And should they die in this state, they would be dying in their sin. The Bible tells us “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment...” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV) That’s the bad news! You have only one go around at this. Today is the day of salvation. What a scary thought that people die without Christ! It is that thought that should compel us to share our faith. We can’t know what state others die in for sure, but we can make sure of our own state before God! And the GOOD news is that when we DO believe in Christ, we immediately receive eternal life.

The Pharisees found Jesus’ claims incomprehensible.

So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.  (vs.28-30)

So when Jesus was finally lifted up on the cross, when the earth shook, when the veil of the temple was torn in half from top to bottom (Matt 27:51), some would finally understand that Jesus is the I AM, the Son of God and God the Son. Some would come out of the darkness into the Light.

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