Hundreds of years before His birth and during His life, Jesus was identified in many ways. The very statement “I AM” that Jesus uses to describe himself comes from Exodus 3:14, a promise from God and a prophecy which foreshadows the coming of Christ.
Who did Jesus say He was? In the Gospel of John, Jesus Himself speaks about who He is and why He came. In this series of four devotions, we will explore Jesus’ words about His identity and what it means for our lives.
Jesus: Light of the World
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. You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”Then 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.”He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come. (John 8:12-20)
On a clear, sunny day, it seems as if you can see for miles. On a dark night, sometimes the only light comes from the moon and serves as a guide to our path. God created light and dark in the beginning of creation, but after sin entered the world, a new light was promised. In chapter 8 of John’s Gospel, Jesus calls Himself the light of the world. Jesus is saying that He is our help and our guide and if we follow Him, then we will stay in the light. This world is dark, but with Jesus in it and part of our lives, we can always see where to go.
There is no skimping around the issue; the “I am” statement that Jesus makes is distinct. Jesus validates who He is and where He came from and no one could prove otherwise.
It’s so difficult for our own human minds to not judge someone, especially when they may be saying something that seems irrational to us. I am sure the Pharisees thought the same and didn’t know what to make of what Jesus was saying. For Jesus to say He and the Father were one was both baffling and blasphemous to them. How could they believe someone who said such things? How can we? This is where we have to rely on God’s Word and the faith He gives us to know Him and trust in His promise of a Savior.
The truth of Jesus’ statement certainly came on that dark day on the cross. His death brought life and light to a broken world.
Dear Father, thank you for sending your Son to be the light of the world that never goes out. Thank you for the promise of a Savior who spoke the truth and then fulfilled your promise to win victory over darkness and reign as the light of the world! Amen.