“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
This is the second of the seven “I am” statements that Jesus made and are recorded in John’s Gospel. The other six are: “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), “I am the gate” (John 10:7), “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11), “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25), “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6) and “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). All seven of these statements symbolically revealed Jesus’ relationship with us and his purpose for restoring our relationship with God.
In today’s passage Jesus said that he is the light of the world and that whoever follows him will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. What we are going to do now is break this verse down so that we can understand it in the context of what Jesus revealed about his relationship with us and his purpose for restoring our relationship with God.
Jesus is the true and complete revelation of God’s light; he removes spiritual darkness and deception by shining his light upon the right path to God and by revealing the opportunity for salvation through faith in Jesus. And we see two key things about Jesus’ relationship with us and his purpose for our restoring our relationship with God. (1) All those who accept Jesus’ forgiveness, abandon their own way of life and follow Jesus are freed from the darkness of sin, the world and Satan. And those who do not follow Jesus are choosing to remain in spiritual darkness.
(2) The phrase “whoever follows me” is a present participle, indicating a continuing action-“whoever keeps on following”. True Christian discipleship (following and becoming like Jesus) must be a way of life.
Jesus here revealed to us that he came to light our way to the Father, and this revealed part of Jesus’ relationship to us. And he said that if we follow him we will not walk in darkness. but will instead have the light of life. Which revealed his purpose for restoring our right relationship with God, by fulfilling the prophecy given to Isaiah that says “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2). Jesus lights your way to the Father and by following Jesus you are able to stay on the right path.