SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
Commentary by Walter Albritton
Darkness is No Match for the Light of the World
John 8:12-20; -46
Key Verse: I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life. – John 8:12
How astonishing – that a man should declare himself to be “the light of the world”! Yet Jesus did and we are left with a decision. Either Jesus was delusional or he was telling the truth.
John believed Jesus. He believed Jesus was everything he said he was. In the years since Jesus’ time-dividing ministry untold millions have agreed with John. Yet every generation must decide for “God has no grandchildren”!
As we follow Jesus across the pages of the Gospel of John we find that repeatedly Jesus explains that he and the Father are one. He was not alone. He was not acting alone. He was doing the work his Father sent him to do.
Jesus’ sense of oneness with the Father is remarkable. Believe in me, he said, and you believe in God. Get to know me and you know God. See me and you have seen my Father. Reject me and you reject my Father. Receive me and you can walk in light. Deny me and you remain in darkness. His words were crystal clear.
No less clear was his reason for coming into the world – so that no one should have to remain in the darkness. Jesus was light, “the” light. Follow him and you can escape the darkness and never have to walk in darkness again. What an offer! But what does it mean?
To the Pharisees who despised
Jesus, what he said was blasphemy! They accused Jesus of lying and denounced
his teaching. They hated him so much they wanted to
kill him. They knew God had called
Still Jesus proclaimed the truth about himself. He did not cut and run. He loved people too much to leave them in the darkness of worthless ritual and pagan superstitions. He was on a mission from God that eventually would take him to the cross.
Why was his message so important? Because darkness is such a terrible thing! Physical darkness makes it impossible for us to know where we are going. The dark is frightening. Imagination runs wild. We suppose “monsters” are nearby, ready to harm us.
Fear of the dark is not merely a childhood experience; it can last a lifetime. Over the years there have been many instances when, seized by fear in the dark, I have wished for God to appear as a pillar of fire as he once did for the Israelites.
Spiritual darkness is worse. It blinds us to the truth. The Pharisees were living in darkness without realizing it. They could not “see” the Truth when He stood before their eyes! How pitiful!
Jesus offers us the privilege of walking in the light of life. When we do our minds are no longer darkened by the darkness of sin and guilt, death and sorrow. We “see” the forgiveness God offers us when we believe in and receive Jesus. We understand that he sets us free from our past and shines the light of his love on our pathway to a new future.
Once we truly believe that Jesus is the light of the world, we feel compelled to share this message with others. Millions are lost in the darkness of ignorance and superstition; some have never heard of our Jesus. Somehow we must find new ways to make known to them the thrilling possibility that by receiving Jesus they can walk in the light of life.
We dare not keep the light to ourselves. When he opens our eyes and shows us the way, we can find great joy in sharing the light. If you were with a group of people lost in a dark cave, and you found a flashlight, you would surely use it to help all the others escape the darkness.
As long as even one person remains lost in spiritual darkness, God’s people have a compelling mission – to share the good news that darkness is no match for Jesus. The fight is over. Jesus has won. He is the light of the world. For all who believe, He overcomes the darkness! Hallelujah!
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