John 8:12, 15–18, 23–27, 42–47comment (0)
October 31, 2013
By Jay T. Robertson
Related Scripture: John 8:12, 15–18, 23–27, 42–47
Explore the Bible
Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries, University of Mobile
WONDERING ABOUT JUDGMENT?
John 8:12, 15–18, 23–27, 42–47
Judgment is an uncomfortable word, yet we face it many times in life. It may come, for example, from a teacher who grades a test, a police officer who watches our driving or an employer who evaluates our work. These lesser judgments point to the ultimate judgment when every individual will stand before Jesus in judgment.
Identify the True Judge (12, 15–18)
During the Feast of Tabernacles celebrating Jews would dance through the night, holding burning torches in their hands and singing songs of praise. The Levitical orchestras cut loose as the temple area glowed with excitement and light that is said to shed its glow all over Jerusalem.
In this context, Jesus identifies Himself as “the Light of the World.” Jesus’ declaration comes with stunning force, for this statement identifies Him as God. He then continues: “Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus is declaring that He is fulfilling the Old Testament promises of the coming of the “light” of salvation and the “light” of God (Ex. 25:37; Ps. 27:1; Isa. 9:2).
The Pharisees challenge Jesus and shift the focus to His source of authority. They argue that Jesus’ testimony about Himself is not true. Jesus responds that His testimony is true because Father God is also bearing witness about Him. This Jesus, the Light of the World, will judge everyone at the judgment (John 5:22–23).
Identify the Importance of Judgment (23–27)
Jesus cuts through the misguided speculation of the Pharisees by declaring that He is from above, that is, from the Father in heaven. They are from below, that is, from this fallen moral realm that is in conscious rebellion against its Creator. The contrast is not between a spiritual world and a material world but between the realm of God Himself and the realm of His fallen and rebellious creation, the “world,” which hates Jesus because He testifies that “what it does is evil” (John 7:7).
Jesus tells the Pharisees that if they do not believe He is the Messiah, they will die in their sins. From the one sin of unbelief (8:21) come all the other forms of sinful rebellion. The assumption is that the only possibility of escape from judgment is believing that Jesus is the “I am.” The Pharisees understand that it is God who identifies Himself as “I am He” in the Old Testament (Isa. 43:10). Jesus says “I am” your only hope to be forgiven of your sins and to be accepted by Father God. You must believe that “I am.”
The Pharisees refuse to believe that Jesus is the “I am.” He has much to say to them, even if His word will be a word of judgment. There is only one way to avoid punishment for your sins on judgment day. Jesus is saying that judgment is going to take place, and the best thing to do is settle your case outside of court. Trust Jesus as your Lord, Savior, God and King. Jesus is the eternal, faithful, covenant-keeping God. He loves you with a never-stopping, never-giving-up, unbreaking, always-and-forever love. Believe Him. Trust Him. Receive forgiveness for your sins.
Identify the Basis of Judgment (42–47)
Jesus is the basis of judgment. Their response to Jesus shows they are not truly God’s children. Rather they are children of Satan. The clear implication is that not all religious people are children of God, not even Jewish people who reject Jesus. Only people who believe in Jesus as the Messiah are true children of God.
Many people call Christians who hold to the exclusivity of the gospel narrow-minded and politically incorrect. They say, “You Christians always have to be right.” But it’s not that we have to be right. We believe that Jesus is always right. Jesus is the only mediator between God and men. Are you trusting Jesus today?