The “I Am” Series: I Am the Light of the World

20170219_Email[1].jpgThe second “I am” statement recorded in John is in chapter 8. Jesus says in verse 12, “I am the light of the world.” The setting of this “I am” statement is the Feast of the Tabernacles. In addition to the water ceremonies at the Feast of Tabernacles, there was a light ceremony; Zechariah 14 sets the theological context for both ceremonies.[1] Zechariah 14: 7 says, “For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.” Light is a natural figure of speech for what is good and upright and it is often found in contrast with darkness; John makes this contrast from time to time.[2] The Feast of Tabernacles had just concluded so the idea of the lighting ceremony was fresh on people’s minds. Jesus was saying that He is what the light symbolized; He is the pillar of fire and cloud that lead Israel in the wilderness. Jesus is the only light and that people must respond to Him; people’s eternal destiny depends on their reaction to Him.[3] The symbolism in the rituals and ceremonies of the Old Testament all point to Jesus Christ.

 

[1] Gary M. Burge, The NIV Application Commentary of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2000), 255.

[2] Leon Morris, Jesus is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989), 112.

[3] Ibid, 113.

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