12 Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life.”
13 The Pharisees objected, “You are the only one speaking for yourself, and what you say isn't true!”
Even if I do speak for myself, what I say is true! I know where I came from and where I am going. But you don't know where I am from or where I am going. 15You judge in the same way that everyone else does, but I don't judge anyone. 16If I did judge, I would judge fairly, because I would not be doing it alone. The Father who sent me is here with me. 17 Your Law requires two witnesses to prove that something is true. 18I am one of my witnesses, and the Father who sent me is the other one.
19“Where is your Father?” they asked.
“You don't know me or my Father!” Jesus answered. “If you knew me, you would know my Father.”
20Jesus said this while he was still teaching in the place where the temple treasures were stored. But no one arrested him, because his time had not yet come.
You Cannot Go Where
21Jesus also told them, “I am going away, and you will look for me. But you cannot go where I am going, and you will die with your sins unforgiven.”
22The people asked, “Does he intend to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying we cannot go where he is going?”
23Jesus answered, “You are from below, but I am from above. You belong to this world, but I don't. 24This is why I said you will die with your sins unforgiven. If you don't have faith in me for who I am, you will die, and your sins will not be forgiven.”
25“Who are you?” they asked Jesus.
Jesus answered, “I am exactly who I told you at the beginning. 26There is a lot more I could say to condemn you. But the one who sent me is truthful, and I tell the people of this world only what I have heard from him.”
27No one understood that Jesus was talking to them about the Father.
28Jesus went on to say, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, you will know who I am. You will also know that I don't do anything on my own. I say only what my Father taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me. I always do what pleases him, and he will never leave me.”
30After Jesus said this, many of the people put their faith in him.
Have you ever felt “in the dark” about some issue? Darkness is a metaphor for ignorance and naiveté and here Jesus shines his light upon the ignorance of the Pharisees. He reveals that they lack perception in their judgments (v 15), they lack knowledge of who God is (v 19) and they are blind to their own earth bound perspective and allegiance (v 23). These are just a few examples of the ignorance that Jesus the light exposes upon the dark hearted Pharisees.
The problem with ignorance, as with darkness, is that we cannot see by it. We are not able to see the faults of our own stupidity by looking for ourselves. We need a light to see by. This is what Jesus offers. He will shine his light upon our ignorance and by his light he will lead us to life (v 12). By his light he can show us where we are from and where we are going. Our past and our future are laid out and illuminated by him and his truth.
Allowing the penetrating light of Jesus into the hidden crevices of our ignorance can be scary, but just as Jesus showed restraint in speaking with the Pharisees (v 26), he will certainly show restraint in revealing our ignorance also. In the end it was the crowds, whom the Pharisees judged as ignorant, that were actually enlightened, for they “…put their faith in him.”
All knowing and all seeing God,
Nothing is hidden from you. Shine your light into the dark areas of our heart’s blindness that we might see by it. Allow the warmth of your light to melt the coldness our hearts that we might share it with others. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.