Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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I AM the light of the world 9.27.2015
Dear friend,
Grace and mercy from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you now and always, Amen.
Word of the Lord: John 8:12-30

During the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) there was a great ceremony called the "Illumination of the Temple," which involved the ritual lighting of four golden oil-fed lamps in the Court of Women. These lamps were huge menorahs/candelabras (seventy-five feet high) lighted in the Temple at night to remind the people of the pillar of fire that had guided Israel in their wilderness journey. All night long the light shone their brilliance, it is said, illuminating the entire city.
In celebration and anticipation, the holiest of Israel's men danced and sang psalms of joy and praise, before the Lord. This festival was a reminder that God had promised to send a light, the Light, to a sin-darkened world. God promised to send the Messiah to renew Israel's glory, release them from bondage, and restore their joy. Imagine that you are in ancient Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles. Visualize seeing these massive menorahs giving a tremendous amount of light. Now imagine the impact of the words said by Jesus in the Temple courtyard when he announced, "I am the Light of the world."

8:12 Then 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. Let us then read from verse 13 through verse 30.

There is not much disagreement among most that Jesus existed as a historical figure, but very few will allow Him to be God. As long as we approach Jesus from any other point of view than faith, we will never see the real Jesus. Faith is connected with the receiving of the Holy Spirit, Who then testifies of Jesus from the Scriptures. This is the point that He is bringing them to, but they say, your record is not true. Unbelief will always seek to discredit the record of Truth.

Explanation of the Text
13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.
14 Jesus 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.
15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.
16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.
17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

They are thinking according to their own intellect and mind, as opposed to Jesus receiving everything from HIs father in heaven. They really do not know what He is all about, for they are only able to understand based on their knowledge and experience of their learning to date. .

When we seek to know Truth, are we seeking out of faith, or are we stuck within the system that we already possess?
Faith and the Holy Spirit are connected and only when we die to our own self directed efforts, we begin to live.

Their minds are made up, He cannot be the Messiah, but they cannot deny that He does wonderful things. So what they are doing it trying to come up with a way that he can exist, but only in a way that they will allow him to exist.

19 Then 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.
20 These 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.
21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.

Did they ask this in ignorance? Were they referring to Joseph, who by now had died? In his answer, He told them that they are judging based on their knowledge, but Jesus is telling them that they know neither He or His Father, for if they had known Him, they would have known the Father. It is a question of faith.The proper understanding can only come from God, and not from within ourselves. We can enshrine the reality that there is a Jesus, but until Jesus becomes a reality to us by the power of the Holy Spirit, we cannot know him. Otherwise He remains a product of our inventive minds, and not of faith

Wow! He tells them that He is going, that they are going to try to figure out what happened to Him, and then He tells them that they will die in their sins. The statement by Jesus should have stricken them with the fear of death, but they are silent as far as any response. They discussed as to what Jesus meant, but did not 'hear' the judgment against them in their sin.

22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.
23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Now He tells them the reason that they will die in their sins, because they do not believe in Him!! Rather then Jesus himself being killed, Jesus tells them that they are killing themselves. He is introducing the issue of faith, for if they do not believe they are actually killing themselves. He appeals to their sense of preservation, they say he is killing Himself, but really what is happening is that they are killing themselves.

At first glance, it seems like Jesus is being repetitious, but wait, He is pouring out onto them the waters of grace by which they may escape the judgment that is due their sins. Pleae note as to how He said, I said therefore (already said in verse 21) that ye shall die in your sins, but then He makes the offer of grace to them by saying, for if you believe not that I AM he, ye shall die in your sins.

This is the high point of this text today, in that Jesus is extending grace to them with the hope that they will receive Him, for in receiving/believing Him and His Words of grace and truth, they will be given the power to become the sons of God. (John 1:12) It is nearly impossible to overstate the gracious and gathering heart of God towards the creation that He made in His own image, and which He brought/bought back to Himself through the offering of His Son on the cross. How would one illustrate the love that beats in His heart for us as well as in the heart of His Son, and consequently then in our hearts for those who are yet walking in darkness?

25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.
26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

They will understand who Jesus is at the cross, not before. When He is lifted up, they will see Him in His purpose and mission to the world. By His saying this, it shows that some of them will be present. This knowledge will come because of the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives. This presence is the light of life, who dwells in us.

I am the Light of the World, He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 27 Sep 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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The Cross of Christ 2.25.2018
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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*Wendy and Dan Salo: Strength & courage to trust Him w/her health concerns