The Light of the World

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.”

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.”

Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

— John 8:12-20 (NRSV)

I assume — perhaps incorrectly — that the analogue passage from the Synoptics may be of some help as a dialogue partner to folks:

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

— Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV)

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4 responses

  1. David’s perceptive inclusion of the Matthew analogue to “light of the world” points to a fundamental difference between John and the synoptics: For John Chist is the light of the world. For Matthew We are the light of the world. That’s a pretty profound contrast and something worthy of a lot of reflection on.

  2. Just had to say I like your site. Wonderful scripture and thoughts on it. I think I will lurk for awhile…Angela

  3. I’m going to have to chew on this one, maybe I’ll even do a post! Jesus’s legal reasoning is a bit off, I’m thinking ‘hearsay, hearsay’ but maybe I’m speaking ‘heresy, heresy.’ Yes, I am very amused by myself.

  4. Thanks Larry! Of course when we get the vine and branches stuff alter on we can combine the two. Assuming we even want to. Reconciling the Synoptics and John is a bit anachronistic I suspect. Hello Ang: Welcome! You’re welcome to participate as you feel led.Did you know Marjorie is a homeschooler too? Check out her out at unclimberMarjorie: I think you’re right about the legal reasoning here. And I think he contradicts himslef from earlier on when he says he doesn’t bear witness to himself.

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