John 8:12. “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.'” (NASB)
You have not experienced darkness until you have camped in the wilderness for a few days. Far away from the city lights the nights get very dark – especially if it is cloudy and the moon and stars are hidden. Maneuvering your way to a tent tucked back in the forest on one of these black evenings would be quite a feat if there weren’t some sort of light to guide your way.
That is why the nifty headlamps we purchased a few weeks ago became an indispensable piece of equipment on our recent backpacking trip. Though we did not each have our own, it was possible to find the way along the trail by following someone who was wearing one of the lights. No longer did the gloomy shadows seem so menacing because the lamp gave illumination to those following it.
Jesus had spent many hours talking with the the religious leaders of His day explaining to them who He was. “I am the light of the world;” He said. “He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” Over and over Jesus illuminated the fact that He was the Son of God and the only way to the Father, yet these Pharisees refused to see the truth.
They argued that Jesus’ testimony about Himself was not true. They contended that in order for His words to be accurate there needed to be other witnesses. And yet when Jesus gave His Father as a reference, they argued about who that was. They remained in darkness simply because they refused to follow the Light of Christ shining for the world to see.
These learned men who had studied the Scriptures extensively were blind to the truth of their own sin and of who Jesus was. They had shut their eyes to the fulfillment of the very words they had studied for so many years. If they had only continued in God’s word, they would have become Christ’s disciples, known the truth, and the truth would have made them free from the grip of sin.
We are no different. The world is full of darkness through which we flounder, looking for answers and seeking for truth. If we follow Jesus, the Light of the world, seeking Him and believing the words He speaks, our eyes will be opened to the truth and we will receive the life He so freely offers.
It’s no fun stumbling around in the darkness. It is much more sensible to follow a light that can illuminate the path. Christ is the Light of the world. Follow Him!