Pondering John 8:1-31
You can the read the passage by clicking HERE.
Just like last week, a little more understanding of what went to at the Feast of Tabernacles really helps.
During the Feast 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. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
This was understood by the Pharisees to be a messianic declaration. You can understand why they “challenged Jesus.” (v.13) They were on the verge of losing their following as more and more people “put their faith in him.” (v.30)
The people of Jesus’ day were sick and tired. They were sick and tired of the religious system. They were sick and tired of all the government interference. They were sick and tired of leaders who were only looking out for themselves. They were sick and tired of all the rules that didn’t make them feel any closer to God. They were sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Not a whole lot different than today. And Jesus is still the answer. He is the light of the world. He is the one who brings us out of darkness. He is the one to provide us with the light of life.
“Father, thank You for illuminating my darkness; For opening my eyes so that I can see; for filling me with the light of life!”
Next Week’s Passage: John 8:32-59