John 8:12-20 A Valid Testimony (Jesus is the Light)
Let me tell you about what I saw on Thursday morning
· Driving to work, about 5:30, saw a bright light, low to the east
· Amazingly big and bright, not normal
· Stopped and looked for 1 minute
· Was it a plane with landing lights coming into Reno?
· Wasn’t growing or shrinking, not a star, kept wondering about it
· At home, checked on line It was Jupiter
· Friday night at its point of opposition, earth between it and the sun
· Powerful binoculars could see 4 moons, large band, red eye
· Unfortunately there was cloud cover
Well there you have it. I just testified about a great light that I saw in the sky on Thursday morning. Why am I telling you all of this? Because in today’s passage, John 8:12-20, Light and Testify are the two key words. And they are the things I believe the Lord wants us to consider today when we read it.
Read John 8:12-20
Let me give you the background to what is happening in today’s text.
John Chapter 7
· Brother told Jesus to go to the Feast of the Tabernacles-show your miracles
· Jesus said the time was not right for Him
· Brothers went, Jesus went later
During the Festival of the Tabernacles there are two events that are ongoing.
1. “Celebration of the Place of Water-Drawing, celebrated daily as the priests draw water from the pool of Siloam and pour it out at the temple in remembrance of when God provided the Israelites with water from the rock in the wilderness;
2. Illumination of the temple by large candlesticks filled with oil which reminding of the Pillar of Fire that the Lord used to lead their way in the wilderness.
Halfway through the festival Jesus makes His way up to the temple courts. Jesus teaches at the feast and those that are there begin to talk about “Is He the Christ?”
John 7: 37-38 “On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive.”
This Living Water is the same reference He used when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. People at the festival who heard this began to ask who he was, some saying he is a prophet while other said He is the Christ.
Chapter 8 Jesus speaks to the people again Read 8:12
· In John Theme of Light and Darkness
· Speaking in the illumination at the Festival Jesus is saying, just as my Father lit the way for your ancestors in the wilderness after they left Egypt with Moses, I am also lighting your way. Jesus illuminates the path of those who believe in Him.
· If you are a follower of Jesus, think back to your life before
· You had no spiritual understanding, we thought like the world does
· Some people are spiritual but not following the true light
· Darkness surrounded all of us and we didn’t know it
That was the condition of a man named Nicodemus, a Pharisee who believed He was following God but he was actually trapped in the darkness. He came to see Jesus at night, not in the light but in the darkness. Nicodemus seems to know there is something different about Jesus
John 3:2 “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with Him.”
Nicodemus is so close to the truth! Jesus begins to reveal spiritual truth to him. Jesus tells him about being born again, birth of both water and Spirit. Nicodemus asks Jesus, “How can this be?”
In John 3:11 Jesus says, “Very Truly I tell you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept out testimony.” Jesus has seen the Father and the Spirit but “you people”, the Pharisees don’t accept His testimony about the Father’s plan for redemption and the indwelling of His Spirit.
As Nicodemus struggles to understand what Jesus is telling him
John 3:19-21 “This is the verdict, light has come into the world, but peopled loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Every one who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.“
Jesus was sent as the Savior but people still refuse to come into the light.
Analogy of Light and Darkness is a powerful one
· The world lives in darkness
· It hides what we don’t want others to see, the evil in our hearts and deeds
· Through the light of Jesus we are set free from the enemies trap
· Lord of the Ring movies portray light and darkness well
· You can feel the evil, the darkness sweeping over middle earth
· Moments of triumph, joy, love are always in the light
Think about your life. Do you feel the light and the darkness? All of my moments of joy and hope seem to have a feeling of light while my moments of anguish, and despair are wrapped in darkness. Jesus beckoned Nicodemus to step out of the darkness and into the light of the truth. In John 8:12 He does the same with the people at the festival. The world needs the light of Jesus.
How much do we need the light? We get vitamin D from being in the sun by a process called dermal synthesis. Vitamin D is responsible for increasing the bodies ability to absorb calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. These mineral are all required to keep our physical bodies healthy. Increased levels of Vitamin D helps produce Serotonin which helps elevate your mood. Get in the sun and you’ll be happier.
Facts about Vitamin D deficiency
· Can cause your bones to ache and in combination with fatigue it is often misdiagnosed as Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
· Can also cause constant stomach pain
· It can cause bones to become thin and brittle
· It may help cause high blood pressure and lower your Immune System
· Moderate to severe deficiency can double your risk for dementia
· Increase chances of Prostate Cancer, Schizophrenia, and Heart Disease
After thinking about the dark winter we’ve had its no wonder I’m feeling depressed, my body is sore, and can’t seem to remember anything. I am definitely looking forward to summer!
As we have seen in our text, we need light to keep our spiritual bodies healthy too. Vitamin “J”! Jesus The effect of a vitamin J deficiency:
· Evil thoughts
· Ill will towards others
· Eternal Death
Effects of Vitamin J on someone:
· Love towards others
· Less Guilt
· Eternal Life
To me the choice is easy as to which vitamin to take every day. Jesus really seems to be the universal, eternal cure!
So where do we as believers fit into God’s Plan for bringing people into the light? Matthew 5:14a and 16 says, “You are the light of the world. … Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
We’re called to bring His light to the world. To sit in our salvation because we have accepted Christ and not shine His light to those around us is wrong.
· Our words and behavior must demonstrate Jesus’ love for the world
· Jesus death on the cross does not bring salvation to those who do not know about it!
John 8: 13 The Pharisees challenge Jesus’ right to testify about Himself. Holding to the legal standard found in Deut 19:15
“One witness is not enough to convict anyone of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
Read John 8:14
To testify means to make a statement based on personal knowledge. That is what Jesus has done. He testified about Himself being the light of the world because He knows why He came, what He is doing, and where He is going.
Jesus knew that Isaiah was speaking about Him. Isaiah 9:2, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in a land of darkness a light has dawned.” Again in Isaiah 49:6, “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus’ testimony is valid and He gives three reason why His testimony is true:
Read 8:14 Jesus knows who He is and where he comes from where He was going even if the Pharisees don’t. Lawful testimony allows a person to testify about themselves just as Jesus did. This is the first point that establishes His testimony.
· This point also supports the Deuteronomy 19 Scripture for two witnesses. The Pharisees also seem to have forgotten everything that Jesus said in his statement in John 5 when they questioned His authority to heal a man on the Sabbath.
o Five statements in John’s testimony:
1. John 1:20 “He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, I am NOT the Messiah.”
2. John 1:29 “Look, the Lamb of God , who takes away the sin of the world!
3. John 1:30 “This is the One I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me.
4. John 1:32 “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on Him…”
5. John 1:34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.’”
Reason #2 Read 8:15-16 Jesus confronts the Pharisees judgement as biased and limited to human thinking whereas Jesus knew his judgements would be true because of His intimate union with His Father
Read 8:17-18 both Jesus and the Father are witnesses to who Jesus is.
John 8:19-20 Thinking on strictly human terms again, Pharisees question where Jesus’ father is. Clearly they did not know or see Jesus as the Messiah. This inability to see through the darkness and see the light was blinding them to truly see the Father and His plan. They did not know the Father, they did not know the Son and they did not know the divine timetable set by the Father.
It is almost hard to believe that these trained, religious leaders of Israel, searchers of the Scriptures, could not see Jesus for who He is and understand the Father’s plan. But I admit, I have a lot of empathy for them. There was a long period of time in my life when I could not see through the darkness even when Jesus was knocking on the door to my heart.
As I wrap up, I want to get practical. How do we let our light shine in this world? How do we testify about Jesus?
· Love others
· Care for those in need
· Help those who are sick or struggling
· Feed those who are hungry
· Clothes those who need it.
· We share the good news of Jesus death on the cross which allows their sins to be forgiven and forgotten and about His resurrection and how faith in Jesus brings us eternal life.
We find a good lesson on how to let our light shine in Matthew 25:31-. But if we fail to tell others about Jesus, if our actions don’t testify about Him we can face an awful eternity as seen in Matthew 25:41-46.
Also, we should live so the fruit of the Spirit is apparent to everyone: Love, Joy, Peace, Forbearance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control. Okay, if you are like me, I am still working on some of these. Okay, on all of these things. But each time someone else sees these in you, you’re testifying about Jesus and what He has done for all of them. Words and actions are our testimony about the truth of the gospel.