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empty Posted January 2005
Rev. Dr. S. Stewart Poullard Jesus The Light of the World
Rev. Dr. Stacy S. Poullard
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
Mermentau, Louisian

John 8:12-20
12Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 13The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

The Gospel of John is the 43rd book in the Bible; has 21 chapters; 879 verses; 19,099 words; asks 167 questions; 15 O.T. prophecies are fulfilled; and, this particular Book delivers 44 new prophecies. John was written by the Apostle John, younger brother of James, son of Zebedee and Salome, between A.D. 85-90, and is probably the most theological of the Four Gospels. It deals with the nature and person of Christ and the meaning of faith in Him. Whereas Matthew, Mark, and Luke present Christ as the ideal King, the ideal Servant, and the ideal Man, respectively, the Gospel of John depicts our Lord and Savior as the ideal God!

The Apostle asserts Jesus to be Divine in a series of ten [10] “I am’s”: In 6:35, Jesus is the “bread of life”; in 8:12, the “light of the world”; in 10:7, the “door of the sheep”; in 10:9, “the door”; in 10:11 and 10:14, the “good shepherd”; in 11:25, “the resurrection and the life”; in 14:6, “the way, the truth, and the life”; and, in 15:1 and 15:5, “the true vine”.

The Disciple also pens Jesus with other names of Deity: “the Word was God” in 1:1; “the Lamb of God” in 1:29; “the Messias [= Messiah]” in 1:41; “the Son of God” and “the King of Israel” in 1:49; “the Saviour of the world” in 4:42; and, “Lord...and God” in 20:28. Now, you don’t have to believe me, Church: READ it for your selves! Don’t take my word for it! The only Word you should ever trust is the Word of God! Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Well, I’m here to TEACH. But there’s nothing wrong with the student opening that Book, and making sure that the TEACHER is on the mark! Amen?

Let’s set this up. There was, in the first 11 verses of this chapter the story of an adulteress. Isn’t it funny how the woman is always the bad one? I mean, how come the Pharisees never brought a man to Christ with a charge of adultery? What? Was this woman committing adultery by herself? Anyway, Jesus is in the temple, as usual, TEACHING! The Bible doesn’t say He was shouting; doing a jig; hoping it up; or, acting a fool. Verse 2 says, that He sat down and TAUGHT them. All the hollering, and dancing, and shouting, and playing church, won’t get you into heaven, Church. Y’all better stop playing all these games in God’s house, and get down to practicing what “true worship” is all about!

Back to the story. The scribes and Pharisees bring this adulteress to Jesus, and call Him “Master”. Problem! The devil, in order to get you to let your guard down, will flatter you, make you feel superior, praise you, and wham! He’ll mess you up like a bad hair day! If your friends start off by flattering you, watch out! They’re about to lay something on you that can only spell trouble!

So, they calls Him “Master” and presents him with this “adulteress”. If I recall, Jewish custom, and law, stated that the man should also be charged. And, as custom, I also question, “Was a warning first given?”, as required. Somebody check that out and let me know if my memory is still good.

They tell Jesus that Moses says that the woman should be stoned, and asked Him what He thought of the situation. All they wanted to do was to get Him to say something – anything – that they could use to accuse Him. Pray, Church. Pray real hard that God gives you discernment, so that you don’t let that waggin’ tongue get you in trouble. Jesus just stooped down, said nothing, and started to draw in the dirt. They wouldn’t leave Him alone. They kept at Him, like the devil does us: keeps at us until we either follow his lead, or deny him access to our heart.

After a while, Jesus righted Himself, and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Watch this now: Jesus didn’t stand up there with His chest stuck out and His fists balled up! He humbly went back to drawing in the dirt. You don’t have to act as if you’re going to beat your enemy with a stick every time you’re in a difficult situation! Why do we always have to fight? “Humph, ain’t nobody gonna’ mess with my baby. I’ll kick they butt!” No. No. No! Jesus has shown us the way. God’s Word will convict anyone…even the worst of devils. Didn’t Jesus, in Luke 21:15 say, “For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all of your adversaries shall not be able to deny or resist.”?

USE THE WORD OF GOD AGAINST THOSE DEVILS, AND LEAVE THE CONVICTIONS TO HIM! I gotta tell you, those suckers left the temple like somebody had pulled a gun and started shooting! Ha Haaaa. When the dust cleared, the only people left in the whole place was Jesus, the woman, and His original students.

You know the story: Jesus forgave her, and told her to “go and sin no more.”
Now that all of the accusers had gone, Jesus then turns back to those whom He had been teaching, and says, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

This is what we must understand: Christ laid down a great doctrine on this day. And, the doctrine is this:

1. Christ is the light of the world! Even though many had turned a deaf ear to what He was saying, Christ still spoke. Sometimes, when you are trying to tell someone about the goodness of Jesus, and they don’t seem to hear, say it again! Jesus wants you to try it one more time before you dust yourself off and walk away. Sometimes, the Word doesn’t get through all of that wax in their ears! Give your message a little time to melt that wax! Don’t give up after the first pass! Jesus didn’t give up! But, Jesus called Himself “the light.” Those rabbis knew that the word “light” meant “messiah.” They also knew that the Prophet, Daniel had said, in Daniel 2:22, “...and the light dwelleth in him.” These rabbis were not about to allow Jesus to proclaim Himself God without trying to destroy Him!

God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. The long-awaited Messiah was expected to be a “light to enlighten the Gentiles,” at least that what Luke 2:32 says. So, I’m guessing, Church, that the light of the world, means that He wasn’t here just for the Jewish church only. He came for Brother Frank, and Brother Broussard. He came for Sister Edwards and for little Brother Benjamin. He came for New Hope MBC, and for every one who believes on His name! God wills that all men be saved! He has offered us all a Divine Light to lead us through the darkness! Can you see it? Will you follow it?

2. The doctrine also infers something: Jesus tells us that, “He that followeth me [as a traveler follows the light in a dark night], shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. If you’ve been out the last few nights, you’ve noticed that the moon has been so bright; it almost looked like the daytime. I mean, you could walk the streets and not need streetlights! The light that Christ casts is even brighter that that moonlight. His light is greater than the noonday sun! In the first verse of “Amazing Grace,” the songwriter says, “was blind, but now I see.” If Christ has entered your life, there is no more darkness. He is that glorious light, bringing hope to a sin-sick and dark-hearted world.
One more thing, and I’ll let you go:

3. If Christ be the light, then, it is our duty to follow Him; to submit ourselves to His guidance, and in all phases of our lives, take directions from Him. Many of us tend to follow what some people call false lights. False lights are like those little lightning bugs we see on summer nights: They just go back and forth, never really going anywhere. Soon, they are trapped in our children’s glass bottles, and/or they die. Their path is a path bent on destruction. When we follow the false lights; the false prophets; the false teachers, we too, are bent on destruction. Anybody who comes to you with a get-rich-quick scheme, or a get-to-heaven-without-even-praying scheme, or a God-will-let-you-be-decadent-all-your-life-and-still-let-you-into-heaven scheme, watch out! You are hell-bent on destruction!

On the other hand, Christ is the true light. It is not enough to look at this light, and to gaze upon it, but we must follow it, believe in it, and walk in it, for it is a light unto our feet, not our eyes only. Consider this: It is the happiness of those who follow Christ that they shall not walk in darkness. Those who follow will not be left destitute of those instructions in the way of truth. And, know also that those instructions are necessary to keep us from destroying ourselves; they are necessary in showing us they way of duty; and, most of all, they are necessary to keep us from damning sin. Look at what Jesus says, you shall have the light of life, that knowledge and enjoyment of God, which will be to you the light of spiritual life in this world, and of everlasting life in the other world, where there will be no death nor darkness.

Matthew Henry says that we should, “Follow Christ, and we shall undoubtedly be happy in both worlds. Follow Christ, and we shall follow him to heaven.”

Does it mean that we must bear a cross? Yes, we all have a cross to bear. Does it mean that we must die on that cross? No, Jesus did that for us. Does it mean that we must have a crown of thorns shoved down on our heads? No, Jesus did that for us, too. Does it mean that we must be beaten to within an inch of our lives by Satan’s devils? No, Christ handled that one. Well, Pastor, does it mean that we must stand and be spat upon, cursed, kicked, and belittled? Nah, Christ got you covered. But, does it mean that we must be stripped and have our hands and feet nailed to a cross?

No way, ‘cause Christ took care of that part, too. Let me tell you what the songwriter said: “I hear the Savior say, ‘Thy strength in deed is small! Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.’ Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain – He washed it white as snow.” The last of the four stanzas goes, “And when before the throne, I stand in Him complete, ‘Jesus died my soul to save,’ My lips shall still repeat. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain – He washed it white as snow. Amen.

Copyright 2005 by Rev. Dr. Stacy S. Poullard
Used by permission,

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