This post by christinecoltman was originally published at GRACE PLACE
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Jesus speaks these words at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, a Jewish feast where they would
remember how God brought them through the hostile wilderness and into the promised land. God
provided for them on their journey and guided them. The Jewish people and leaders would be familiar
with Exodus 13:21-22, ‘By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their
way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither
the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.’ and having just
finished the celebrations, it would be at the forefront of their minds. Is it a coincidence that at this point,
when the ‘party’ is over, the torches are off, that now Jesus declares ‘I am the light of the world?’ Of
course not! Nothing is a coincidence with Jesus; what he says and when he says it is meaningful and
God’s perfect plan.
Read John 8:12-30
1 a) What two things does Jesus say in v12 about who he is?
b) Look up these Old Testament verses, these are but a few verses that reference the ‘light’:
Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 42:16; Isaiah 60:20; Michah 7:8 . i) What/who does the light refer to?
ii) Why do you think Jesus referred to himself
as the Light of the World? Who is Jesus
saying he is?
2) a) What is the darkness that Jesus refers to in 8:12 and (thinking back to the first session) John
1:4-5? Can you see evidence of darkness in the world around us and in your own heart?
b) Why is Jesus the only remedy for this darkness? Jesus says, ‘Whoever follows me will never
walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’. What does that mean to you?
3) How do the Pharisees respond to Jesus after he announces that he is the light of the world? Read
John 8:13, 19, 22, 25.
At first glance it seems the Pharisees take Jesus ‘off-topic’ as they neglect to respond to Jesus’ claim of
being the Light of the World. But Jesus uses their questions and doubts to clarify further just WHO he is.
Illuminating the fact that he really is the ‘Light of the World.’
4) a) What is it that Jesus says that authenticates His claim in 8: 13-20; 21-29?
b) Why is the cross (v.28) so significant in revealing who Jesus is?
5) How did people respond to Jesus’ teaching that he is the light of the world? John 8:30
Application (you might just want to look at one or two of these depending on time):
- How does Christ’s promise that His followers will never walk in darkness give you reason for hope
- How has the light of Jesus overcome the darkness that used to consume your life?
- Think of any situations of darkness that you still know of today. How might you bring the light of
Jesus into these situations?
- Thank God for shining the true Light of the World on us, so we no longer have to be enslaved to
darkness, but have the light of life when we believe in Him.
- Ask Him to shine the light in areas of your life that are still ‘in darkness’ and that cause you to
- Ask for help to allow your life to be so consumed by the light of Jesus so that you can reflect his
light in the dark places of this world.