By Tyson Thorne

July 25, 2019

John 27 Large

If we remove the first 11 verses of chapter eight we have a continuity problem with today's passage, 8.12-20. Chapter seven ends with the religious leaders planning Jesus' fateful end, and in chapter 8 verse twelve Jesus is again teaching in the temple. The story of the Adulterous Woman provides us with the reason Jesus is back in the temple teaching, which is another reason I think it is a mistake to simply eliminate the pericope from the Bible. In today's passage, Jesus is at the temple, standing near the offering box, to teach the gospel using a metaphor.

“I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

If the story of the Adulterous Woman does not belong in this context, then when does this text take place? Due to Jesus identifying himself as the light of the world, F.J.A. Hort in his work The New Testament in the Original Greek, Volume 2 proposes that this event takes place during a lesser Jewish ceremony, the lighting of the candelabra in the Women's Court. A plausible explanation as Jesus often used comparison's based on objects or events around him. Like when he claimed to be "living water" when talking to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well.

Regardless of when Jesus made these statements, the statements themselves are powerful. Jesus says "I am the light of the world," a statement that immediately divides people. If Jesus is light, then it follows that those who reject him prefer darkness. Those who follow Jesus walk in light, everyone else moves through life in darkness. Jesus is clearly not a member of the bad analogy club. But there is more to his statement than simply being a powerful metaphor. If Jesus is light, then we ought to be able to use that as a standard for evaluating our relationship with God. Is there a lot of darkness in your life? Maybe your relationship with God isn't as solid as you think. I say might because darkness can come into our life through the influence of others and even natural disasters or failures. Evaluating how much of the darkness in our lives is caused by our own actions, however, can make a positive impact in one's life.

We've discussed the Pharisee's objections to Jesus testifying on his own behalf back in chapter five (verse 31). Here Jesus takes a different tact, however, stating that on this matter his testimony is relevant because he is saying about himself the same things that God says. One can imagine how well that went over with the Pharisees. We don't have to imagine, though, John tells us they continued to grill him for answers and to explain himself further which, of course, he doesn't. He leaves them with a final statement that continued to drive his opponents mad, "If you knew me you would know my father too."

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