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.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” 19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.” NRSV
Here, Jesus makes a claim that challenges the belief system of the Pharisees. He is claiming to have the power to eradicate darkness (the state of being in the dark). Historically, the Pharisees knew such power was reserved for the prophets of Israel God called into service. So, quite naturally, the Pharisees question Jesus’ rather outlandish claim, asking some kind of proof of his authenticity as a prophet. Jesus gives them his typical response, “the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” As we have seen, in John, Jesus always refers to God (the Father) to substantiate his statements and his actions. In the minds of the Pharisees that is no proof at all since God cannot be seen or heard within the context of their own faith experiences. In John, accepting who Jesus claims to be always boils down to faith. Imagine that!
This sets up a lovely contrast in this passage. The followers of Jesus are walking by the light Jesus has brought into the world. The Pharisees’ questions make it clear they continue to stumble around in the darkness.
We are people who strive to live by the light (enlightenment) that Jesus brought into the world. Thanks be to God!
Be a blessing to someone today!