Sunday School Lesson – January 31, 2021
Text: John 8: 12-27
Golden Text: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12
When complete darkness envelops us, it is a very frightening situation. Then, more than any other time, we learn to truly understand what it means when we say, “Jesus is the light of the world.” In this lesson we will also learn that Jesus’ words were initially directed to the unbeliever but they also have great importance for the believer.
I. The Light of the World – John 8:12-18
To follow Jesus is to follow His ways as is taught in the Bible. In verse
12, Jesus declared that He is the light of the world. The Pharisees did not believe Him. They said Jesus was acting alone and tried to discredit Him by stating that more than one witness was needed to convict anyone charged with a sin.
The Pharisees could not understand it when Jesus said only He knew where He had come from and where He was going. They did not understand the concept of heaven because they only had knowledge of earthly things. The Pharisees thought Jesus was either insane or a liar and so they never recognized Him as the Messiah. NOTE: If your mind is filled with prejudice and envy, you cannot accept spiritual truths.
Jesus said the Pharisees were judging on human reasoning and they were not open to receiving any spiritual truth. Jesus spoke to many people and of that number the religious leaders should have been the ones open to spiritual insight. They saw Jesus but did not see His deity.
Jesus pointed out that His purpose was not to judge them. In defense, Jesus said, “And yet if I judge, my judgement is true.” The law stated that you must have more than one witness to bring a charge. Jesus was not the lone witness in that He and the Father were together. Jesus and the Father were both witnesses of His mission on earth.
Before we become too critical of the Pharisees lack of spiritual insight we have to acknowledge that unbelievers cannot understand spiritual truths. The same is true for many believers. That is why there is such a great need for sound teaching in our churches today.
II. Blind to the Light John 8: 19-22
Jesus accused the Pharisees of being ignorant of Him and His Father
when they asked who His Father was. He saw the question as an insult because they were just trying to determine the legitimacy of His birth. Jesus was aware that if they had known Him they would also know the Father and why the Father was not visible to them.
Later Thomas asked how they could know the way to His Father’s
house. Jesus responded, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.” If the Jews had truly been observant they would have seen His actions, attitudes and the full attributes of God that were visible. They would have seen He was different from other people. The reality is that they did not want to see it. Even so, no one opposed Jesus because He was protected by God. When Jesus said that He was leaving, the Pharisees and chief priests thought He was going somewhere to hide from them or kill Himself. They did not understand that His time left on earth was short and the consequences of not believing in Him would result in permanent separation from God. Jesus was not going to kill Himself but He was going to give His life willingly for us.
III. Above and Beneath – John 8: 23-27
When Jesus said you are from “beneath,” He meant you are
earthly. Jesus was from heaven. The Pharisees refused to believe that fact and that is the reason they would die in their sins. That fact was so important that Jesus said that phrase three times (once in verse 21 and twice in verse 24).
Our lesson states that physical death separates the spirit from the body but spiritual death separates the spirit from God. After that final separation of the spirit from God occurs, there is no second chance.
In the last three verses, the Pharisees questioned Jesus about who He was. He had given them evidence that He is the Son of God through His teachings and the miracles performed. His response was I am the same as I have said from the beginning. Jesus presented Himself as the Messiah from the beginning. The Jews never really understood that Christ was indeed one with the Father and charged Him with blasphemy.
It is extremely necessary for all of us to believe that Jesus IS the light of the world. Just as plants must have light to live, we must have the light of Jesus if we are to grow in our relationship with God. We must continue to grow spiritually by living continuously in the light of His truth, believing in the truth of His testimony about Himself and really trusting in Him for eternal life. DO NOT WAIVER!! You must believe that Jesus is the light of the world!!