Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
I have always viewed this statement of Jesus in the negative. I thought the emphasis was to be placed on, “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness”, but that’s not his point. The point is that he is the light, and whoever follows him will have the light of life. Do you see it? “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
In this verse, Jesus was comparing and contrasting darkness with light. Note the tiny little “but” in this verse. Actually, it’s a huge “but”. It’s the same “but” that Paul used in Romans where he said, “For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” It’s this same Greek word, “kai”, that Jesus used to contrast darkness with light. To clarify the depth of the meaning of this word, in English, it could be rendered, as “instead”. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, instead [in place of] will have the light of life.”
Again, I used to think that the emphasis of this verse was not on the Light that Jesus brings into our darkness, but rather on the limitations I would have if I followed Jesus. I was a “Fear thinker”. “Fear-thinking” is the practice of thinking with fear as the foundation for the decisions you make. For example, “If you follow Jesus, you will not be able to ____________” (you fill in the blank). For those who fear-think, the list is unbelievably long, it never gets shorter, and only gets longer with time.
Are you a fear-thinker? Do you live in fear, make “safe” choices out of the fear of the unknown? If so, you are so limiting yourself from all that God designed you to be. Jesus is the light to your darkness. Darkness flees in the presence of light. Try it out. Flick the light switch on in a dark room and see what happens. So too, darkness flees in His presence. Darkness can not co-exist with light. God’s light overwhelms darkness every time.
Light of Life Thinking
A “Light of Life thinker” takes Jesus at his word when he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” This person knows that Jesus permeates all darkness, that he rules over all situations and circumstances, that nothing takes him by surprise. This individual is one who places his trust in the word of God and not in his emotions. He is governed by the Word of God, and not by how he feels. The Word dictates his thinking, his circumstances don’t. This way of thinking is steeped in God-confidence. It does not hope, it knows, . . . like a son knows his father will catch him with open arms when he jumps from a swing. Embrace this child-like faith, he won’t drop you. Take him at his word. The more you trust him, the more you reflect his light.