Midweek Meditation: John 8:12

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “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

In the 8th Chapter of the Gospel of John Jesus says, “He who follows me will not walking darkness, but will have the light of life.”  Following can mean two things, the light that comes from the source of life or the light that gives life and in this passage, it says both.  Jesus is that light that comes from God and came among humanity, and He is the light that gives life to humankind.  Our lives can never flower with the grace and beauty until we radiate that light of Christ.

The great Scottish theologian William Barclay suggests that follow has five distinct but interrelated meanings for us.

  1. It is often used to describe a soldier following the orders and example of his captain. The soldier is to follow his leader wherever that leader will lead them. In this example Christians are soldiers, and we are to follow Christ wherever he may lead us.
  2. It is often used to describe a slave following his master. Wherever the Master went, the slave would follow to be in attendance to him and always ready to spring into service and action when the teacher calls him. For us Christians, we find our joy when we follow Christ.
  3. It is often used to describe the acceptance of a wise counselor’s advice. When a person is in doubt, they will often seek out someone to ask their opinion, and if they are wise, they will receive that advice. The Christian is the one who guides his life and conduct based on the counsel of Christ.
  4. It is often used to describe following the laws of the place where one lives. To be a useful member of any society, one must follow the rules and laws of the pace where they live. Being a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, the Christian accepts the law of the Kingdom and Christ in how ones govern one’s life.
  5. It is often used to describe the following of a teacher’s line of argument of following along with someone’s speech. As Christians, we must understand the meaning of the teachings of Jesus Christ. We must take the message into our minds and take the words into our memories and then transfer that to our hearts for real understanding.

If we are to truly follow the light, then we have to give ourselves over to the light, Christ, in body, mind, and spirit. When we walk alone, and in the dark, we can often stumble and even lose our way. We need the wisdom of Christ to lead and guide us along our path. To be followers of Christ is to walk in safety through life and then enter into his glory.

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