“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. . . .I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” (John 8:12-14, 18)
Jesus had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. The golden candelabra lit during this historic observance were a reminder of the pillar of fire which had guided Israel in the wilderness. Jesus seized the opportunity to reveal that He Himself was the spiritual reality toward which all this beautiful imagery was pointing. Completely clueless and incensed by the apparent audacity of Jesus’s claim, members of the religious establishment chose this opportunity to pick a fight about His origin and authority.
As 21st-century believers, we may find ourselves the object of scorn for believing huge Truths about Jesus.
Jesus the Good Guy?
Jesus the Great Teacher?
Jesus the Social Justice Warrior?
But Jesus the sinless Son of God who inhabited a body for a few years, died in the most ignominious way possible, and then truly started breathing again? Jesus who sits at the right hand of God the Father, and demands our 100% allegiance over all rivals?
These are huge Truths that stick in the throat and go down hard.
Jesus did not soft pedal His role or His origin in order to be more palatable.
C.S. Lewis said it perfectly:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
How does a solid belief in Jesus’ identity as God the Son impact on the way you read His Words? On the way you live them out?
Lord, as we testify in your name, may we be filled with your boldness and your commitment to Truth.
Subscribe to Living Our Days to get regular content delivered to your inbox. Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.