By Gene Price
Pastor, Tumbling Creek Baptist Church, Gleason
While attending the Tennessee Baptist Convention annual meeting back in the early 1990s, a storm approached Memphis knocking out the electricity as everyone was making their way across the parking lot. Without street lights, it was very difficult to find your way to your car. I needed light to help me find my way.
The setting of our text is so important. Remember it was at dawn (John 8:2) that the Pharisees bring to Jesus a woman who was caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus used that backdrop to teach a lesson about light and darkness. What light is to the physical world, Jesus is to the spiritual world.
First, Jesus gives light in a dark world. According to Ephesians 6:12, the world lies in darkness. Our world is dark mentally, morally, and spiritually. Jesus presents Himself in this dark world. Isaiah prophesied that a light would come (Isaiah 9:2). The light was the light of creation (John 1:4), conscience (John 1:9), and conversion (John 8:12). According to I John 3:19 men love darkness rather than the light. The Bible also uses light to symbolize God’s direction. God had led His people by a pillar of fire at night during their time in the wilderness. Jesus promised that when we follow Him we would never be in darkness. When we trust Jesus as the Light, then He will be our Savior and Guide.
Second, the world rejects the light. The Pharisees like the world today rejected the truth that Jesus taught. Jesus proclaimed that His testimony or teachings were valid based on the fact that He was Deity. Jesus appealed to His origin and His destination as proof of His Deity (v. 14). The Pharisees’ problem was that they judged by human standards (v. 15). Today the world has turned to other sources of light, such as human wisdom and popular philosophies. The path the world walks down often has bright lights that get a person’s attention, but they always lead down a path of destruction, frustration, and desperation.
Third, Jesus reveals the Father. The Light did not come into the world to condemn the world but to extend salvation. Everyone will be judged based on their choices about Him. If the Pharisees had seen Jesus for who He was, they would have also understood more about who the Father was and is. Jesus came into the world to shed light on the character and personality of God the Father. The Pharisees asked, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered by saying, “If you knew Me, you would also know My Father.” The Pharisees had spent their lives studying the Scriptures yet they were blind to the fact that God was in their midst. As the old saying goes, the Pharisees had “head knowledge” about God but not “heart” knowledge.
Today, Jesus asks us to shine the Light so others can see it. A flashlight that is not turned on is powerless. A candle that does not burn is irrelevant (Matthew 5:16).