12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
Meanwhile back in the Temple, Jesus continues to speak about his identity and his trustworthiness as God’s “sent one”. As the light of the world (see John 1:5) Jesus is a true guide– whoever follows him will never walk in darkness. The word “follows” appears 90 times in the New Testament and usually means much more than tagging along behind. It means to follow as a disciple; to imitate and accompany as a committed learner. So Jesus means that whoever commits to him as Master and Lord will never lose their way, will never get lost or trip up. Instead, he will guide them into the life that only God can give.
How is it that Jesus is such a reliable guide to life? There are at least two witnesses to this truth. Jesus is one and his Father is another. But the problem is that the crowd really has no idea who Jesus is nor do they really know his Father. While they may think they know that Jesus is a carpenter turned wandering prophet from Galilee, they have have no clue that they are looking at God himself (with hands, eyebrows and kneecaps). They have no idea that God is triune– and here is the second person of the Trinity among them in human form.
And it is the Father– God the Father– who has sent Jesus on this mission. Everything Jesus does is fulfilling his plan, is revealing his glory, is doing his will. For Jesus, it is all about the Father.
Once again Jesus’ claims are provocative. The crowd knows that when Jesus speaks of his “Father” that he is referring to God himself. That’s why in verse 20 John remarks, “Yet no one seized him.” They really ought to have grabbed him because the implications of Jesus being God’s Son are breath-taking. But they do not arrest him for blasphemy, because his hour has not yet come.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank you that you a reliable guide to bring me into the life that only God can give. Please lead me to him. Guide me through the dark until that great day.