That You May Believe–Journey Through John

Jesus: The Light of the World – John 8.12

Part Two

Part 2 of Sermon on John 8.12
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Notes from Sunday’s Sermon–Jesus: Light of the World

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Sermon Series: THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE–JOURNEY THROUGH JOHN

“Jesus – The Light of the World”
John 8:12

INTRODUCTION

  • Context: The Feast of Tabernacles
    • · The Last of Seven Annual Feasts
    • · One of three that ALL Jews were REQUIRED to attend
    • · Seven Day Feast to commemorate the forty years in the wilderness
    • · The Entire Nation Camped Out – reminder of the 40 years
    • · Huge Menorah were lit – reminders of the pillar of cloud/fire
      • o These Menorah were 75 feet tall
      • o 10 Gallons of Oil
      • o Wicks from the old and unusable priestly garments
      • o These Menorah would actually light the streets of the city
    • At the end of the feast, the lights were purposely put out.
      • o Why? because the Messiah had not yet come.
      • o Some propose it is at this point that Jesus makes his declaration.
      • o Against the Sudden Darkness from Extinguishing the Menorah
      • o In the Understanding of the Representation of God’s VISIBLE presence (the pillar)

John 8:12
Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

NOTE: Jesus makes several “I AM” statements in the account written by John. Remember the purpose of John’s Gospel – That You May Believe that Jesus is Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have Eternal Life. (John 20.31)

  • Seven I Am Statements of Jesus
      • I AM the bread of life. John 6:35, 6:48…..
      • I AM the light of the world. John 8:12, 9:5…..
      • I AM the door. John 10:7…..
      • I AM the good shepherd. John 10:11-14…..
      • I AM the resurrection and the life. John 11:25…..
      • I AM the way, the truth and the life. John 14:6…..
      • I AM the true vine. John 15:1,5…..

JESUS’ CREDENTIALS AS LIGHT
Light is a symbol that has been used in throughout the Bible in connection with Christ. Here are a few examples:

  • · Isaiah 9:2
    2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.
  • · Luke 2:32 (HCSB)
    32 (Simeon’s prophesy declared Jesus to be…) a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to Your people Israel.
  • · Matthew 4:16 (HCSB)
    16 The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned.
  • · John 1:4-5 (HCSB)
    4 Life was in Him, and that life was the light of men.
    5 That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
  • · John 3:19-20 (HCSB)
    19 “This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed.

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JESUS’ CLAIM TO BE THE LIGHT.
Jesus is not simply saying that he was “a” light to the world or that he was “another” light to the world. Jesus is not saying that He is holding the light or that He has the light or even that He is the way to the light. HE IS DECLARING THAT HE IS THE ONE AND ONLY LIGHT OF THE WORLD.

He’s declaring I am the Shekinah (the “glowing glory”) these enormous and brilliant candelabras symbolize.

The Menorah, Like the Pillar of Cloud and Fire, Symbolized:

    • · It symbolized God’s Presence. “I am the one who was with you.”
    • · It symbolized God’s Guidance. “I am the one who guided you.”
    • · It symbolized God’s Protection. “I am the one who protected you.”

JESUS’ CHARACTERISTICS AS THE LIGHT
There are many characteristics of light that we could examine but I just want to call your attention to two of them.

  • · Light Reveals (John 3:19-20)
  • · Light can also Blind.

Only two groups of people are unaware of the presence of light. Those who are blind and totally unable to see, or those who close their eyes tightly and refuse to see.

INVITATION

  • · Have you trusted in Jesus Christ as the “Light of the World…
  • · Have you trusted Him as the “Light of YOUR world?”
  • · Are You Reflecting Him as the Light of Your Life?

Philippians 2:12-16
12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, [enabling you] both to will and to act for His good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars (light) in the world. 16 Hold firmly the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing.

Getting Ready for A Special Occasion

THE IMPORTANCE OF PLANNING AHEAD

What would happen at your house if it was learned that some special dignitary, royal ambassador, or your mother-in-law, was coming to visit? I don’t know about your house, but here’s the way this would play out in mine. As soon as my wife, Andie, hears that we have company coming (for example her sister who is somewhat OCD) she starts making plans and preparations. A whole menu of cleaning needs to be done, groceries need to be purchased, and plans need to be finalized. Honestly, there have been times when I have heard someone was planning to come by that I have toyed with the idea of keeping the information to myself simply because of the work that I know it will bring.

Another example might be Thanksgiving. I love hosting Thanksgiving for our family. I really enjoy every part of it from the planning to the shopping, the cooking, and even the cleaning afterward. I start planning for Thanksgiving a couple months in advance because it’s such a big deal, and I want it to go well. As one slogan states: “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.” Making everything come together and work out means work ahead of time.

But I am thinking about a totally different and often—I fear—overlooked event. There is a far more important occasion that is taking place this week and I’m challenged and convicted by the amount of attention and preparation that is put into it. This week, and every week, we have an appointment with the creator of the universe. What I have discovered, however, is that people regularly wait until Sunday morning when it’s time to head out the door to put any thought or preparation into this occasion.

Even in the pastor’s house (confession time) this has happened. I’m not talking about the sermon or the music, but some of the basic things. How often I have heard, “I don’t know what I’m going to wear” just moments before it was time to head out the door. How often have I reached for my Bible and notes only to find them not where I expected them to be. We fail to plan and as a result we find ourselves distracted from the purpose of the day.

So, here’s my thought on this Thursday—just a few days from Sunday. Let’s get ready now…in every area of our lives…for this very important occasion and event. Here are some thoughts that I want to personally do (aside from the “pastor stuff” that I need to do) to be better prepared for Sunday, and they are things that you can do as well.

· Pray –

  • o Pray for the church service
  • o Pray for your heart and mind to be open
  • o Pray for the pastor (believe me he needs it)
  • o Pray for the people who serve in the service (music, ushers, etc)
  • o Pray that God will “show up” on Sunday in church
  • o Pray for the people who will be there who have needs

· Rest

  • o Saturday night get to bed earlier rather than later
  • o It’s really hard to focus on God in church when you are tired
  • o Get up and out of bed earlier rather than later on Sunday morning

I know that it really frustrates Andie, but I try to be in bed no later than 10PM on Saturday nights. It doesn’t matter what movie is on, what company we have, at 10:00 I intend to be in bed. Obviously, my Sunday activities are a little different then most, but the fact is that all of us need to rest if we are to be ready. I think many people succumb to the enemy before their heads leave their pillows Sunday morning. They say, “Oh, I’m just too tired to go to church” and then stay in bed.

· Take Care of the Basics –

  • o Decide what you are going to wear the night before and have it ready
  • o Keep breakfast simple (Frozen waffles have saved our home numerous times)
  • o Be ready for the unexpected as much as possible—go with the flow

I’m actually thinking back to some of our Sunday mornings as a family when our children were younger. We actually drove two cars to church just to avoid some of the stress that can occur on Sunday mornings. One of the things that helped was being prepared the night before. Having the kids clothes out and ready. Showers, baths, whatever were done the night before. We almost always had at least one or two guests (friends of the kids or others) who had spent the night, so we would keep breakfast quick and easy. I know that without thinking ahead there would have been many Sunday morning disasters in our home. Even with preplanning we still faced our share of struggles.

You might be like I was, and didn’t ever really think about working to get ready for Sunday, but I have found that it makes a great difference, and not just because I’m a pastor. I know it will make things better and smoother in your Sunday morning experience too.

So…get ready, and I’ll see you Sunday morning!

I would love to hear from you. Comment here with some of your family experiences (I love the funny ones) and maybe some tips that you have found work best in your home. In addition, jot down some struggles you might face on Sunday morning, perhaps someone will have an answer for you as well.

Pastor Dave “Big D” Bentley

Notes from Last Sunday’s Sermon

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Series through the Gospel of John

THAT YOU MAY BELIEVE

“Stones…Schemes…Sin…and Salvation”

John 8.1-12

John 8 begins and ends with someone about to be stoned by an angry and seething mob. In the first few verses it’s a woman caught in the act of adultery, but by the end of this single chapter there will be stones in the hands of men bent on killing Jesus! Don’t miss a moment!

John 8:1-12 (HCSB)
1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
2 At dawn He went to the temple complex again, and all the people were coming to Him. He sat down and began to teach them.
3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, making her stand in the center.
4 “Teacher,” they said to Him, “this woman was caught in the act of committing adultery.
5 In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?”
6 They asked this to trap Him, in order that they might have evidence to accuse Him. Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with His finger.
7 When they persisted in questioning Him, He stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
8 Then He stooped down again and continued writing on the ground.
9 When they heard this, they left one by one, starting with the older men. Only He was left, with the woman in the center.
10 When Jesus stood up, He said to her, “ Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, Lord,” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”]
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”

Context

After A Night on the Mountain: Jesus has spent the night on the Mountain – he often went there for prayer and time away. He needed it…we need it. The demands that were upon Him were enormous, and the need for perspective and guidance critical.

Early Morning Quiet Shattered: How many of you love the early morning time? It’s quiet…peaceful…serene. You can spend time in prayer, thought, preparation, whatever. Listening to birds, watching the dawn break, or sharing instructive moments with students as Jesus was here. These are great moments. It’s abrasive when something shatters that solitude isn’t it?

Enter the Drama of a Life in the Balance

  • Lives all around us are hanging in the balance, and the only hope and answer for them was the only hope and answer for this wretched life.

 

STONES IN THEIR HANDS (3-5)

· Can’t you just hear the conversation on the way as they are dragging this poor girl through the streets. “We’ve got Him now! This will be the end of that Jesus!”

They Had Stones in their Hands

  • · Stones of Judgment
  • · Stones of Hatred
  • · Stones of Indignation
  • · Stones of Self-righteousness
  • Question: Where Did The Stones Come From?
    • Perhaps Some had picked them up along the way!
    • Many probably had the stones before they grabbed the girl.
    • They were determined – Someone will die This Morning!
    • Do we pick up stones along the way…carry them with us…always ready?

SCHEMES IN THEIR HEADS (6a)

  • · Notice – It was NEVER about the girl’s sin.
    • The Accusations were True, but irrelevant to their motives
    • The Sin had been Serious, but irrelevant to their motives
    • The Result would be Disastrous, but irrelevant to their motives
  • · So – They Set the Trap like pulling back the spring on a mouse trap.
    • If Jesus was lenient they could accuse him of disregarding Jewish law
    • Go along with the stoning He violates Roman Law and would be arrested
    • There appears to be NO WAY OUT…
    • You can hear the cheers and see the “High Fives” – “We got him boys!”

SIN IN THEIR HEARTS (6b-9a)

  • · Remember – NOTHING catches Jesus unaware.
    • He is “Disappointed” but not “Shocked” by the girl’s sin
    • He is “Discouraged” but not “Surprised” by their schemes
  • · Jesus Knows What’s Going on Beneath the Surface
  • o There are Several Elements here that Reveal Significant Things
    • First – Where’s the dude? The law required both be executed.
    • Second – How did they know where to find her?
    • Third – How many of them had been as guilty of this or other transgressions, but thought they had gotten away with it
  • Jesus Cuts to the “Heart of the Matter”
    • He makes no direct answer to their question
    • He bends down and “doodles” in the dirt
      • Note: We have no idea what Jesus was writing in the dirt.
    • When they PRESS Him for a reply he declares:

“The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”

  • The Stones Drop and the Crowd Thins
    • They leave oldest to youngest – demonstrating that with age comes wisdom
    • Have you ever gotten your hopes up only to be disappointed?
    • As wrong and as diabolical as this had been, the feelings had to be similar.
    • It’s a wonder that some young gun didn’t just go ahead and hurl his stone anyway.

SALVATION FOR THE HURTING (9b-12)

At the center of the stage in this drama has been a character that seemed to be totally forgotten in the moment. All eyes had been on Jesus, He was in the spot-light. As the crowd thins there is left one other player in the scene, a broken and tattered young woman who has all the emotions of one whose most disgusting and filthy aspect of their life has been put on display for the world to see.

  • · Shadowed by her Shame
  • · Shattered by her Sinfulness
    • There has been one man who could cast that stone
    • What Would this Righteous Teacher Do when Left with just her?

SAVED BY HER SAVIOR

  • Expecting Condemnation She Finds Comfort
  • Anticipating Judgment She Discovers Grace
  • Deserving Death She Experiences Mercy
  • Awaiting Rage She Encounters Hope

Jesus doesn’t excuse her actions.

    • Because of His Amazing Love – Jesus accepts her where she is

Jesus tells her to go and “sin no more.”

    • Because of His Amazing Love – Jesus moves her to real life-change

Invitation “Amazing Love/You are My King”

  • This is our Lord Jesus – the Same yesterday, today, and always.
  • This is the Hope for all men – that Forgiveness and Grace are found in Christ
  • This is the story of grace and hope – that no matter what God loves us in Christ
  • This is the path to life – that we are cast before Jesus in sin and He receives us.

You don’t need to get your life in order before you meet Jesus, come to Him, and allow Him to work in your life through His Word and the power of His Spirit. He will transform and change you, and you can know His Amazing Love today as this adulteress knew.