Monday, June 15, 2015

The Light of the World

John 8:12-59 - Jesus is still in the temple courts following the incident with the woman caught in adultery.  Still some of the pharisees and religious leaders there as well.

Opens with John 8:12 - "I am the light of the world"
Ends with John 8:59 - "they picked up stones to stone Him"

in between = confrontation, debate, verbal exchange

Question:  Why are the Jews so offended??? - John 8:23-24, 43-44, 47, 58
These were spoken to those who were supposed to be the torch-bearers for God - they considered themselves that in their own eyes.  Vs. 58 - claim to Deity - final straw

Real Issue = not "are His Claims Offensive?" 
Real Issue = Are His claims TRUE!!!

Issue is the same today as it was then!  If claims offensive and true, then the offense is irrelevant.
The Gospel IS offensive, but it IS true!!

Focus today:  Verse 12 - (2nd. of the "I Am's")
Which are - #1 - personal - "I Am" - versus 'I know, can point to, etc.'
                 - #2 - exclusive - "THE...."  - definite article - not 'a', not 'one of', but THE.
                -  #3. - practical - ie:  the declaration contains an applicable promise!!! 

John 8:12 - declaration = "I Am THE LIGHT..."
                - promise = therefore, IF you follow me.....

Light and Darkness = common symbols for all peoples, cultures - that which is light = good, always in positive sense.
that which is dark = evil, stumbling, bad
Found throughout the scriptures, and is primary in Christian study.

So scripture ... begins with separation of physical Light and Dark ( Gen. 1:1-4)
                       closes with expulsion of all darkness - (Rev. 22)

In between = hundreds of references, mostly symbolic, figurative.  However, just because are symbolic DOES NOT mean they are NOT REAL!!!  Example:  the Nazi symbol - was speaking of something VERY real!!!

3 Symbolic uses of Light in Scripture:

#1.  The Light of Knowledge - 2 Cor. 4:6

#2.  The Light of Moral Purity - (what falls into God's will, God's plan) - Rom. 13:12-13

#3.  the Light of Hope (Christian hope = more than just wishful thinking, but looking forward to based on solid reasoning) - Micah 7:8,  Isa. 9:1-2,6

Point:  John 8:12 - "I am THE Light"
Therefore, Come to me for true Knowledge
                                         true moral purity
                                         true hope

Question:  IF Jesus is holding out Light for me --- HOW do I Find it?  (appropriate it?  in a PRACTICAL sense?)

You find the Light of Jesus in:
#1)  His Word(s) - John 8:31-32 - continue in My Word, ....
#2)  His Example - WWJD - we have His example in scriptures - how He reacted to many different instances
#3)  His Presence - ie: Holy Spirit through prayer, meditation, etc. - inner voice convicting, nudging, comforting, directing.  (never leave you, never forsake you.  Always be with you)
#4)  His Service - because Obedience ==>Light ( light received increases light)
Sometimes we have it backwards.  We want blessing, then will serve.  Lord says, serve, then you'll be blessed in the doing.
#5)  His Redemption - (His Salvation & Lordship) - there are three scenarios regarding our relationship with Christ: 
A) - we are on the throne, in the driver's seat of our heart - Christ is on the outside.  = lost person.
B)  Christ is in our heart, we've accepted His salvation, but we are still on the throne running the show and He is at the foot.
C)  Christ is not only in our heart, but on the throne, and we are at the foot of the throne allowing Him to direct, control, run our lives.

#1.  Light sometimes comes gradually  (cumulatively) - we are a microwave society - want everything to happen immediately.  On rare occasions, it might, but don't expect sudden epiphany all the time.

However it comes:
#2.  with Light comes "Response - ABILITY" - able to respond - 1 Pet. 2:9

Though should be Spiritually transforming,
#3.  Light can be Resisted, Refused - we have God-given capacity to do that.  He has given us freedom of will to choose.  However, light rejected increases darkness.  When He calls, you will know!

John 12:46 - "your choice"
Christ's initial light (salvation)
Christ's continuing light - (Lordship) - more light, more hope, more service.

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