Jesus, the light of the World
The Validity of Jesus’ Testimony
12When 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.”
13The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14Jesus 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. 15You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20He spoke these words while teaching in the temple area near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his time had not yet come.
21Once 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.”
22This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
23But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be,[a] you will indeed die in your sins.”
25″Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been claiming all along,” Jesus replied. 26″I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
27They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28So 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. 29The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30Even as he spoke, many put their faith in him.
Anyone who has ever toured a cave knows there comes moment of absolute darkness when the tour guide turns off the lights, and suddenly you are in the darkest place you have ever been. But then, just as suddenly, a match is struck, and the darkness is no longer absolute, for even the smallest light can overcome the darkness. So, imagine if a match can dispel the darkness in a cave, what Jesus, the light of world can accomplish when His light overcomes the darkness.
The men to whom Jesus spoke were in the darkest of caves, but they did not know it. When Jesus spoke it was almost as though He was speaking in some foreign language, because there was no comprehension, no understanding. And indeed, I suppose it could be said Jesus was speaking in another language. After all, He clearly states the ones to whom He spoke were from this world, below; He is from above. The words of heaven must certainly overwhelm any words spoken while in the earthly realm.
We catch another glimpse in this verses of how legalistic Jesus’ audience was. A witness was required to validate a testimony according to Deuteronomy 19:15
New International Version (NIV):
“ 15 One witness is not enough to convict a man accused of any crime or offense he may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
As far as the crowd understood, Jesus had no such witness, therefore, what He said had no validity. Yet we are told that some in the crowd put their faith in Him
Why do some hear and understand the words of God, while others walk away? There is no easy answer to this question. But I do have some advice. If you have heard the words of Jesus, but have not understood, or have not allowed them to penetrate your heart, there is still time. Bow your head to the Most High God, recognize the Alpha and Omega for who He is, and the Son as the Messiah, sent to redeem a lost and dying world; repent of your sins (ask forgiveness, and then turn away from your sinful lifestyle) and ask Jesus to be your Savior and your Lord. Once you have done this, Jesus’ language will no longer be foreign to you, and His light will shine upon you from this day forward.