Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 14:01
Bible Book: John / Johannes
Text: John 8:12
John 8:12 is an “anchor text” for followers of Jesus. Jesus proclaims that He is the light. In his presence the darkness of a life that has become cheerless and bleak, for whatever reason, changes into the light of a life from God’s hand and in his wonderful presence. Not only does Jesus declare here who He is and what He means to the world and especially to his followers, but He also gives us a wonderful promise. Once you’ve let the light of Jesus shine in your life and are living close to Jesus (following Him), you will never have to live in the darkness again.
When Jesus promises his followers that they will never live in the darkness again, it is not an all-inclusive guarantee against hardship, grief, sickness or tribulation. When you become aware of how Jesus’ light started shining with his birth, suffering, crucifixion and resurrection, it becomes clear that the (whole) world didn’t change overnight. When Jesus appeared as the light of the world, his light shone in the midst of a small, oppressed nation. Jesus’ light shines in this broken world and brings light to people in their circumstances.
So it would be a misunderstanding to conclude from John 8:12 that, if we follow Jesus faithfully, we will never experience any darkness in our lives again.
Jesus’ followers can also experience trials, have accidents, or stumble and fall. They also become sick and can also be affected by HIV and AIDS or find themselves living with HIV and becoming ill because of it. But this doesn’t cross out John 8:12. The wonder of it all is that Jesus’ promise in John 8:12 remains valid in a broken world and to his followers, who are often broken people as well. Even during times of darkness they will receive the light of Jesus that brings life.
I can imagine that John were thinking of these words of Jesus when he wrote at the beginning of his gospel, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).
Author: N du Toit (Ds)