Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” - John 8:12
In this statement, Jesus is saying that we all exist in spiritual darkness and that He’s the only one capable of turning on the lights. He then goes on to explain what gives Him the authority to be the light of the world:
Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. - John 8:14
Jesus’ evidence for his authoritative statement is that He knows where He came from and where He is going. Later, in John 12, He further draws out this comparison:
32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. 34 So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?”35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
One way that we, as humans, have adapted to living life in the dark is that we tend to operate the truth train backwards and lead with our feelings and experiences. All these feelings and experiences only add up to speculation. But Jesus offers us something much better than speculation; Jesus offers revelation. In John 12:8, Jesus invites us to follow Him out of the darkness and into His light.
The rest of the book of John will continue this refrain:
9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” – John 11:9-10
46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. – John 12:46
Jesus invites us out of darkness and with this invitation we can stop basing our lives on speculation and instead center them around revelation.
Revelation says that God’s truth is the only truth. What we feel and think matters, but it does not bend reality in any way.
If you are going through a difficult season right now, the good news about Jesus being the light of the world is that we do not grieve as those who do not have hope. We don’t suffer the same way as people stuck in the confusion of the dark suffer because we’ve been led out of it. He brings us out of our very limited view of our lives and tells us that He’s working all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
Because Jesus is the light of the world, He shows us over and over again that we’ve been looking at things all wrong. He’s come to call us out of darkness—out of speculation—and into His glorious, unchanging revelation.
Jesus is the light of the world. He knew where He came from. He knew where He was going. He is the only trustworthy authority to follow out of the darkness. Thanks to Him, we don’t have to base our lives and eternities on speculation anymore.