Early one morning, Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12 NIV
By referring to himself as the light, Jesus made direct claim to being the Messiah. Those listening to this would recall the prophecies of earlier prophets like Isaiah 9:2. The teachers of the law and others present in the temple court would not have mistaken the meaning of his words.
The conversation that follows and the emphasis on the word “witness” which, when in reference to light as it testifies of the sun, who Jesus himself just referred to himself as, is incredible. Light bears witness to itself. Every day when the sun rises, it tells you it is there. The only people who cannot see the light are those who are blind. From the beginning of John’s Gospel, light and darkness were used as a contrast between belief and unbelief. Jesus was described as “the true light that gives light to everyone” (1:9).
From the start of Jesus’ ministry into the present day, there are many who were able to see the true light for the first time and decided to follow Jesus. Sadly, many remain blind, no matter how bright the light. To follow Jesus means to believe in and trust him, which – as Jesus Himself said – leads to light and life. Those who follow Jesus are like travellers who follow the light on a dark road in the night. Yet, they – you – do not walk in darkness but have the light of life. The light shows what we could not see and guides our every step: never alone as Jesus guides our way. Our part is to follow him, to submit ourselves to his guidance, and to respond to his direction. It is not enough to look at his light and to gaze upon it. We must follow it and walk in it, for it is a light to our soul, not only our eyes.