“Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,”esus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
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.”
The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
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.” John 8:1-14 (NIV)
LIGHT OF THE WORLD
During my senior year of college, I was a Resident Advisor in one of the freshman dorms. When I moved into my room, I was unaware the RA who lived there two years before me had made an important change. She was deaf, so the school added a fire alarm strobe light to her room. The addition was obviously necessary to help her be aware of when the alarm was going off, but it wasn’t removed after she moved out.
I became aware of the strobe light’s presence in my room quite abruptly one day. The fire alarm went off around three in the morning, waking me from deep sleep. I opened my eyes to light piercing the darkness at regular intervals. As I struggled to orient myself to what was happening, the flashing light began to affect my eyes.
I moved to get out of bed, a difficult task on account of the mattress being three feet above the ground to accommodate the mini-fridge underneath it. Not realizing the flashing light was affecting my depth perception, I jumped down from the bed, completely misjudging the distance to the floor. I fell to my knees before getting up and stumbling toward the door, bumping into other furniture items along the way.
The experience taught me something I had never realized about light before: a bright, flashing light in a dark room is not helpful. While it can make you aware of something you cannot hear, it does nothing to help you see. The darkness and the light mix together, obscuring what’s in the room.
This story often comes to mind when I think about Jesus as the Light of the World.
John describes Jesus as a light shining in the darkness, a light “the darkness can never extinguish” (John 1:5, NLT). Darkness is Satan’s favorite tool. He uses it to obscure and conceal both himself and God. Satan makes it dark so we can’t see who he really is or who God really is. It is impossible to recognize truth when we’re enveloped in darkness. It’s impossible to know where we are or to see where we are going.
Enter Jesus, the Light of the World. In his own words, Jesus tells us what this means for us: “’I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.’” (John 8:12, NLT) As the Light of the World, Jesus reveals the truth of who God is and who Satan is and even who we are. Jesus breaks through the darkness with his light, allowing us to see the truth and walk in it.
Thankfully, Jesus’ light is not like that strobe light in my dorm room. His light does not flash on and off, distorting our vision and causing us to stumble. Instead, his light is strong and steady, pushing away the darkness, lighting the way to life. All we have to do is follow him.
Where have you seen Jesus’ light shining in your life, revealing truth?
What areas of your life are still in darkness? Are you willing to ask Jesus to shine his light there?