Read John 8
Jesus continued to teach. Earlier he declared himself to be the Bread of Life. He lost a lot of followers after that discourse. In this chapter he said: I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows him walks in light, not in darkness. Think back to chapter 1 where this light and darkness discourse began.
Light came into the world. The darkness could not overcome it, but the world did not recognize it. Chapter 8 picks up on that introduction with Jesus stating that he is the Light of the World.
The religious leaders and many lay persons had too much of an investment in this dark world to want to hear what Jesus told them. He was from the Father. His testimony was enough on its own but if you needed more, the Father testified to the same things.
Jesus told them that he was from above and they were from below. Without his light—without believing he was of God and from God—they would remain in darkness. They would exist without life. They were already dead.
Discord reigned among the Jewish leaders. Who is this guy? Where is he going that we can’t go? Why should we believe what he has to say?
This discussion was consistent with those before as was the answer Jesus gave them. I am who I said I am all along. You don’t need more information. You need to believe.
I love the short quote that makes the rounds via various memes these days. It says something along the lines of:
We are overwhelmed with information but have a dearth of wisdom.
Everyone seems to want more information but few seek wisdom. Our craving for information causes us to rubberneck when there is an accident scene with flashing lights all around. Wisdom guides us to keep our eyes on the road so as not to become accident site number two at the same mile marker.
People crave more information. Consider the 24-hour news cycle. On any given day, there is probably enough news to fill an hour’s worth of broadcasting, but you are going to get 24 hours and so many people watch for that little tidbit that seems new.
I can only roll my eyes when the Breaking News logo scrolls across my screen. I would kick myself if I could when it reads: What we told you 20 minutes ago remains unchanged.
So many were asking for more information not so they could believe but so they could come up with new questions in an effort to delay having to process the information they had already been given. Jesus had given them enough to believe in him, especially the leaders who knew the scriptures well and should have been expecting him.
In spite of the hard-heartedness of the leaders, many did come to believe.
To those who had not yet believed, Jesus told them they would get another chance. When the Son of Man is lifted up then you will know that I am who I claim to be. The question was, would they believe?
We know the story from prophecies to birth and to death and to resurrection. We did not hear any parts first hand, but if it is information that drives us, we have all the information that we need. But receiving Jesus as Lord is not about information.
So it really comes down to faith. Do we believe? We are told at this point in John’s account, many did come to believe in the One who called himself the Light of the World.
We say that we also believe. Information will come and go and remain constant or be changed, but our belief—our faith in what is not seen—must not waiver. God is our constant, our Rock and our Redeemer. We believe.
Jesus is Light.
Jesus is Life.
Jesus is Lord.