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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 8:12

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

Adam Clarke Commentary

Then spake Jesus again unto them - Allowing the story about the woman taken in adultery to be authentic, and to stand here in its proper place, we may consider that our Lord, having begun to teach the people in the temple, was interrupted by the introduction of this woman by the scribes and Pharisees; and now, having dismissed them and the woman also, he resumes his discourse.

I am the light of the world - The fountain whence an intellectual light and spiritual understanding proceed: without me all is darkness, misery, and death. The Divine Being was, by the rabbins denominated, The light of the world. So in Bamidbar Rabba: "The Israelites said to God, O Lord of the universe, thou commandest us to light lamps to thee, yet thou art The Light of The World: and with thee the light dwelleth." Our Lord, therefore, assumes here a well known character of the Supreme Being; and with this we find the Jews were greatly offended.

Shall not walk in darkness - He shall be saved from ignorance, infidelity, and sin. If he follow me, become my disciple, and believe on my name, he shall have my Spirit to bear witness with his, that he is a child of God. He shall have the light of life - such a light as brings and supports life. The sun, the fountain of light, is also the fountain of life: by his vivifying influences, all things live - neither animal nor vegetative life could exist, were it not for his influence. Jesus, the Sun of righteousness, Malachi 4:2, is the fountain of all spiritual and eternal Life. His light brings life with it, and they who walk in his light live in his life. This sentiment is beautifully expressed and illustrated in the following inimitable verse (all monosyllables except one word) of that second Spenser, Phineas Fletcher. Speaking of the conversion of a soul to God, he says: -

"New Light new Love, new Love new Life hath bred;

A Life that lives by Love, and loves by Light:

A Love to him, to whom all Loves are wed;

A Light, to whom the sun is darkest night:

Eye's Light, heart's Love, soul's only Life he is:

Life, soul, love, heart, Light, eye, and all are his:

He eye, Light, heart, Love, soul; He all my joy and bliss."

Purple Island, Can. I. v. 7.

Some suppose our Lord alludes to the custom of lighting lamps or torches, on the first day of the feast of tabernacles. But as these words seem to have been spoken the day after that last and great day of the feast, mentioned John 7:37, they may rather be considered as referring to the following custom: It has already been observed, that the Jews added a ninth day to this feast, which day they termed, The feast of joy for the law; and on that day they were accustomed to take all the sacred books out of the chest where they had been deposited, and put a lighted candle in their place, in allusion to Proverbs 6:23; : For the commandment is a Lamp (or Candle) and the law is life: or to Psalm 119:105; : Thy word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path. If this custom existed in the time of our Lord, it is most likely that it is to it he here alludes; as it must have happened about the same time in which these words were spoken. See Buxtorf. Synagog. Jud. c. xxi.

As the Messiah was frequently spoken of by the prophets under the emblem of light, see Isaiah 60:1; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 9:2, the Pharisees must at once perceive that he intended to recommend himself to the people as the Messiah, when he said, I am the light of the world.

The rabbins think that the Messiah is intended in Genesis 1:3, And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. "From this we may learn that the holy and blessed God saw the light of the Messiah and his works before the world was created; and reserved it for the Messiah, and his generation, under the throne of his glory. Satan said to the holy and blessed God, For whom dost thou reserve that light which is under the throne of thy glory? God answered: For him who shall subdue thee, and overwhelm thee with confusion. Satan rejoined, Lord of the universe, show that person to me! God said, Come and see him. When he saw him, he was greatly agitated, and fell upon his face, saying, Truly this is the Messiah, who shall cast me and idolaters into hell." Yalcut Rubeni, fol. 6. This is a very remarkable saying; and, as it might have existed in the time of our Lord, to it he might have alluded in the verse before us. The thing itself is true: the Messiah is the light of the world, and by him Satan's empire of idolatry is destroyed in the world, and the kingdom of light and life established. See several similar testimonies in Schoettgen.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-8.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am the light of the world - See the notes at John 1:4, John 1:9.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-8.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

JESUS; THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

I am the light of the world ... is the second of the seven great "I am's" of John. See: John 6:35; 8:12; 10:9; 10:11; 11:25; 14:6; and 15:5.

Several suggestions of what might have prompted such a metaphor by Jesus are: (1) the great lamps kindled in the temple court during the feast of tabernacles, (2) the glorious sun rising at that very moment over the mount of Olives, and (3) the pillar of fire that lighted the way for Israel in the wilderness; but it seems more reasonable to suppose that if Jesus needed any suggestion of such a metaphor he would have rather found it in the "light" passages of the Old Testament. Note:

I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and will give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles (Isaiah 42:6). But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:2).

As the sun is the source of all light, power, and energy on earth, Jesus the Sun of righteousness is the source of all spiritual light, power, and energy. Light is the only thing that can come into contact with filth and remain uncontaminated. Christians are the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:14), but theirs is a reflected light. Men of righteous intention seek the light (John 3:19ff). Light either kills or develops vegetation, depending on whether or not it is rooted in soil; and the gospel has that same dual function (2 Corinthians 2:15ff). Light is its own witness. See next verse.


Copyright Statement
James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-8.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then spake Jesus again unto them,.... Syriac fragment of Bishop Usher's, published by De Dieu, prefaces this verse thus, "when they were gathered together", Jesus said, &c. that is, the Scribes and Pharisees, who went out and returned again; or some others of them, who came after this, to whom Christ addressed himself thus:

I am the light of the world; which he might say, on occasion of the rising sun, which was now up, and might shine brightly in their faces; see John 8:2; which is אור העולם, "the light of the world", as Aben Ezra in Psalm 19:8 rightly calls it: thus on occasion of the water in Jacob's well, he discoursed of living water; and upon the Jews at Capernaum mentioning the manna, he treated at large concerning himself as the bread of life: and he might also make use of this character, and apply it to himself, with a view to some passages in the Old Testament, which speak of him under the metaphor of the sun, as Psalm 84:11, and represent him as the light; and the JewsF20Bereshit Rabba, fol. 1. 3. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. & Jarchi in Psal xliii. 3. themselves say, that light is one of the names of the Messiah; and God himself is called by them, the light of the worldF21Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 217. 2. : and likewise he may have regard to those pompous titles and characters, which the Jewish doctors assumed arrogantly to themselves, and oppose himself to them; for they not only called Moses their master, אור העולם, "the light of the world"F23Tzeror Hammor, fol. 114. 3. , and also the law of MosesF24T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 4. 1. , but their Rabbins and doctors; See Gill on Matthew 5:14. By the world here is meant, not the whole world, and all the individuals of it; for though Christ, as the Creator of all things, is the light of men, and does lighten every individual man with the light of nature and reason, yet not in a spiritual and saving manner, as is here intended; nor the whole body of the elect of God, though they are sometimes called the world, being the better part of it, and are made light in the Lord, in a special sense; nor the Jews only, and the chosen of God, among them, though Christ was a great light to many of them, that sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death; but the Gentiles are here designed, who were usually called by the Jews, the world; See Gill on John 3:16. And these were in gross darkness before the coming of Christ, about the Divine Being, concerning the object, nature, and manner of worship; the Scriptures, the law, and Gospel; the Messiah, and his office and work; the Spirit of God, and his operations of grace; the resurrection of the dead, and a future state; now Christ came to be a light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel: our Lord seems to have respect to the prophecy of him, in Isaiah 42:6, as well as alludes to the sun in the firmament; whose light is diffused to all the nations of the earth, and not confined to one spot of land only: but since Christ was the minister of the circumcision, and was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, it may be asked, how could he be the light of the Gentiles? to which it may be replied, that he was so by his apostles, who were sent by him with the light of the Gospel, into all the world; and by his Spirit, who enlightens the minds of men, who were darkness itself, with the light of Christ: for he is not only the author and giver of the light of nature to all men, but also of the light of grace to all his chosen ones, Gentiles as well as Jews; who, in his light, see light; see themselves lost and undone, and him to be the only willing, able, suitable, and complete Saviour; and behold wondrous things in the doctrines of the Gospel, and have some glimpse of glory; and he is likewise the author of all the light of glory the saints enjoy in the other world; the Lamb is the light of that state; he is their everlasting light, and their glory; and happy are they who are his followers now:

he that followeth me; not corporeally, but spiritually, by faith; for as believing is expressed by coming to Christ, so by following after him: compare with this, John 12:46; and with love and affection to him, the desires of the soul being unto him, and to the remembrance of him; and in the exercise of every grace and discharge of every duty, in imitation of him; and through a variety of sufferings and tribulations, pressing after him as the guide, captain, and forerunner: and such

shall not walk in darkness; in the darkness of unregeneracy, not knowing what they are, and where they are, and whither they are going; for such know they are in the light; and though they were blind, now they see; they know in whom they have believed, and that they are in Christ, in the covenant of grace, and in the love of God, and are going to heaven and eternal happiness; such shall not walk in the darkness of unbelief; but walk by faith on Christ; nor in the darkness of error, but in the truth of the Gospel, and as becomes it; and though they may sometimes walk without the light of God's countenance, yet light shall arise to them; and such "shall not go into darkness", as the Ethiopic version renders the words, into outer darkness, or the darkness of eternal death:

but shall have the light of life; the grace of God abiding in them now; which as it is a well of living water, springing up to eternal life, so it is a shining light, which increases to the perfect day: as darkness and death, so light and life go together; grace, which is enlightening, is also quickening and comforting, and issues in eternal light and life; a light that will never be extinguished, and a life that will continue for ever, with never fading joys and pleasures; see Job 33:30.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-8.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

4 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

(4) The world, which is blind in itself, cannot come to have any light but in Christ alone.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-8.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John 8:12-59. Further discourses of Jesus - Attempt to stone him.

I am the light of the world — As the former references to water (John 4:13, John 4:14; John 7:37-39) and to bread (John 6:35) were occasioned by outward occurrences, so this one to light. In “the treasury” where it was spoken (see on John 8:20) stood two colossal golden lamp-stands, on which hung a multitude of lamps, lighted after the evening sacrifice (probably every evening during the feast of tabernacles), diffusing their brilliancy, it is said, over all the city. Around these the people danced with great rejoicing. Now, as amidst the festivities of the water from Siloam Jesus cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink,” so now amidst the blaze and the joyousness of this illumination, He proclaims, “I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD” - plainly in the most absolute sense. For though He gives His disciples the same title, they are only “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8); and though He calls the Baptist “the burning and shining light” (or “lamp” of his day, John 5:35), yet “he was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light: that was THE TRUE LIGHT which, coming into the world, lighteth every man” (John 1:8, John 1:9). Under this magnificent title Messiah was promised of old (Isaiah 42:6; Malachi 4:2, etc.).

he that followeth me — as one does a light going before him, and as the Israelites did the pillar of bright cloud in the wilderness.

but shall have the light of life — the light, as of a new world, a newly awakened spiritual and eternal life.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-8.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

[I am the light of the world.] "R. Biba Sangorius saith, Light is the name of the Messiah. As it is written, Light dwells with him," Daniel 2:22. We have the same passage in Bereshith Rabba; saving that the author of these words there is R. Abba Serongianus.

They were wont to adorn their Rabbins and doctors with swelling and magnificent titles of Lights.

"A tradition. His name is not R. Meir, but Nehorai. Why therefore is he called R. Meir? Because he enlightens the eyes of wise men by the traditions. And yet his name is not Nehorai neither, but R. Nehemiah. Why then is he called R. Nehorai? Because he enlightens the eyes of wise men by the traditions." O blessed luminaries without light! Begone, ye shades of night! for "the Sun of righteousness" hath now displayed himself.


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Bibliography
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 8:12". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-8.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

I am the light of the world. He then began his discourse to the people assembled. See notes on Matthew 5:14 and John 1:7-10.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 8:12". "People's New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-8.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Again therefore (παλιν ουνpalin oun). This language fits in better with John 7:52 than with John 8:11. Just suppose Jesus is in the temple on the following day.

Unto them (αυτοιςautois). The Pharisees and crowds in the temple after the feast was past.

I am the light of the world
(εγω ειμι το πως του κοσμουegō eimi to phōs tou kosmou). Jesus had called his followers “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), but that was light reflected from him. Already Jesus (the Logos) had been called the true light of men (John 1:9; John 3:19). The Psalmist calls God his Light (Psalm 27:1). So Isaiah 60:19. At the feast of tabernacles in the Court of the Women where Jesus was on this day (John 8:20) there were brilliant candelabra and there was the memory of the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. But with all this background this supreme and exclusive claim of Jesus (repeated in John 9:5) to being the light of the whole world (of Gentiles as well as of Jews) startled the Pharisees and challenged their opposition.

Shall have the light of life
(εχει το πως της ζωηςhexei to phōs tēs zōēs). The light which springs from and issues in life (Westcott). Cf. John 6:33, John 6:51 about Jesus being the Bread of Life. In this sublime claim we come to a decisive place. It will not do to praise Jesus and deny his deity. Only as the Son of God can we justify and accept this language which otherwise is mere conceit and froth.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-8.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

The light of the world ( τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου )

Not λύχνος , a lamp, as John the Baptist (John 8:35). Light is another of John's characteristic terms and ideas, playing a most important part in his writings, as related to the manifestation of Jesus and His work upon men. He comes from God, who is light (1 John 1:5). “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). The Word was among men as light before the incarnation (John 1:9; John 9:5), and light came with the incarnation (John 3:19-21; John 8:12; John 12:46). Christ is light through the illuminating energy of the Spirit (John 14:21, John 14:26; John 16:13; 1 John 2:20, 1 John 2:27), which is received through love (John 14:22, John 14:23). The object of Christ's work is to make men sons of light (John 12:36, John 12:46), and to endow them with the light of life (John 8:12).

In John 8:20, we are told that Jesus spake these words in the Treasury. This was in the Court of the Women, the most public part of the temple. Four golden candelabra stood there, each with four golden bowls, each one filled from a pitcher of oil by a youth of priestly descent. These were lighted on the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is not unlikely that they may have suggested our Lord's figure, but the figure itself was familiar both from prophecy and from tradition. According to tradition, Light was one of the names of the Messiah. See Isaiah 9:1; Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 60:1-3; Malachi 4:2; Luke 2:32.

Walk in darkness ( περιπετήσει ἐν τῇ σκοτία )

This phrase is peculiar to the Gospel and First Epistle.

Shall have ( ἕξει )

Not only shall see it, but shall possess it. Hence Christ's disciples are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Compare lights, or, properly, luminaries ( φωστῆρες ) a name, applied to believers in Philemon 2:15.


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Bibliography
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-8.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He that followeth me shall in nowise walk in darkness - In ignorance, wickedness, misery: but shall have the light of life - He that closely, humbly, steadily follows me, shall have the Divine light continually shining upon him, diffusing over his soul knowledge, holiness, joy, till he is guided by it to life everlasting.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 8:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-8.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world1: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.
    MESSIANIC CLAIMS MET BY ATTEMPT TO STONE JESUS. (Jerusalem. October, A.D. 29.) John 8:12-59

  1. I am the light of the world. The metaphor of light was common, and signified knowledge and life; darkness is opposed to light, being the symbol of ignorance and death.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The Fourfold Gospel". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-8.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

12.I am the light of the world. Those who leave out the former narrative, which relates to the adulteress, (213) connect this discourse of Christ with the sermon which he delivered on the last day of the assembly. It is a beautiful commendation of Christ, when he is called the light of the world; for, since we are all blind by nature, a remedy is offered, by which we may be freed and rescued from darkness and made partakers of the truelight Nor is it only to one person or to another that this benefit is offered, for Christ declares that he is the light of the whole world; for by this universal statement he intended to remove the distinction, not only between Jews and Gentiles, but between the learned and ignorant, between persons of distinction and the common people.

But we must first ascertain what necessity there is for seeking this light; for men will never present themselves to Christ to be illuminated, until they have known both that this world is darkness, and that they themselves are altogether blind. Let us therefore know that, when the manner of obtaining this light is pointed out to us in Christ, we are all condemned for blindness, and everything else which we consider to be light is compared to darkness, and to a very dark night. For Christ does not speak of it as what belongs to him in common with others, but claims it as being peculiarly his own. Hence it follows, that out of Christ there is not even a spark of true light There may be some appearance of brightness, but it resembles lightning, which only dazzles the eyes. It must also be observed, that the power and office of illuminating is not confined to the personal presence of Christ; for though he is far removed from us with respect to his body, yet he daily sheds his light upon us, by the doctrine of the Gospel, and by the secret power of his Spirit. Yet we have not a full definition of this light, unless we learn that we are illuminated by the Gospel and by the Spirit of Christ, that we may know that the fountain of all knowledge and wisdom is hidden in him.

He who followeth me. To the doctrine he adds an exhortation, which he immediately afterwards confirms by a promise. For when we learn that all who allow themselves to be governed by Christ are out of danger of going astray, we ought to be excited to follow him, and, indeed, by stretching out his hand — as it were — he draws us to him. We ought also to be powerfully affected by so large and magnificent a promise, that they who shall direct their eyes to Christ are certain that, even in the midst of darkness, they will be preserved from going astray; and that not only for a short period, but until they have finished their course. For that is the meaning of the words used in the future tense, he shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life Such is also the import of this latter clause, in which the perpetuity of life is stated in express terms. We ought not to fear, therefore, lest it leave us in the middle of the journey, for it conducts us even to life The genitive of life, in accordance with the Hebrew idiom, is employed, instead of the adjective, to denote the effect; as if he had said, the life-giving light We need not wonder that such gross darkness of errors and superstitions prevails in the world, in which there are so few that have their eyes fixed on Christ.


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-8.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

world

kosmos = mankind. (See Scofield "Matthew 4:8").


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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on John 8:12". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/john-8.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

‘THE LIGHT OF LIFE’

‘The light of life.’

John 8:12

‘Light’ and ‘life’ are words which have a strange connection everywhere. Even in the natural world, there must be ‘light’ if there would be ‘life.’ And if you take away ‘light’ out of ‘life,’ it is a poor thing to live. And so it is in a man’s inner and truer being. There is no ‘light’ without ‘life’; and there is no ‘life’ without ‘light.’ And the one fountain, from which both are eternally flowing on together, is the Lord Jesus Christ. We will look at them, then, in their distinctness, that we may understand them in their union.

I. Life.—As God calls ‘life,’ all ‘life’ is in Christ. Therefore Christ says, ‘I am the life’—‘I am come that they might have life.’ But how? In Christ as ‘the God’ in heaven, or in Christ as ‘the man’ born in the manger? Undoubtedly in ‘the man.’ Christ does not originate ‘life’—He receives it—He receives it as a Son. ‘For as the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.’ How does the ‘life’ which Christ took become the ‘life’ of any particular believer; or, which is the same thing, of all believers connectedly, i.e. of the Church?

(a) By an act of union; every man who loves his Lord and Saviour, undergoes a secret, mystic process, which cannot be told in language, nor followed in a thought; but by which he is actually joined to the Lord Jesus Christ.

(b) Do you ask, how that union is formed and increased? Read the sixth chapter of John. By an inward process, like eating food. The soul receives Christ into himself, feeds on Him by thoughts and affections, assimilates Him—makes Him one with all his parts and feelings, carries Him in his life-blood. The Holy Communion is the chief type and the greatest channel of that uniting process.

II. Passing from ‘life,’ let us look at ‘light.’—We are all endeavouring to throw ‘lights’ upon the surface around. With some, we are like meteors—sudden, rushing, short. With some, they play like the variegated hues that close a summer’s day—capricious, fanciful, superficial. With some we are vapour ‘lights,’ that lure with dangerous lustre, on and on, to ways of emptiness, to despair, to darkness, and to destruction! But ‘light’ indeed, is that which is ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles,’ that is our portion of the promise; but to the Jews something more, light resplendent, ‘a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of Thy people Israel.’ Now take away the figure, and ‘light’ is two things.

(a) It is clearness of perception, and,

(b) It is joy of feeling.


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Bibliography
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 8:12". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-8.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Ver. 12. I am the light of the world] αυτοφως, ut Plato loquitur, quia αυταυτος, ut Scaliger.

The light of life] Light in good and bad men differs as the light of the sun (wherein is the influence of an enlivening power) and the light of torches.


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Sermon Bible Commentary

John 8:12

The Festival of Epiphany

I. There is no figure more common in Scripture, and none more beautiful, than that by which Christ is likened unto light. Incomprehensible in its nature, itself the first visible, and that by which all things are seen, light represents to us Christ, Whose generation none can declare, but Who must shine upon us ere we can know aught aright, whether of things Divine or human. Itself pure and uncontaminated, though visiting the lowest parts of the earth, and penetrating its most noisome recesses, what does light image, if not that undefiled Mediator who contracted no stain, though born of a woman in the likeness of sinful flesh? Who can question that the rising of Jesus Christ, was to the moral world what the sun is to the natural?

II. Without pleading that the state of the world, before Christ came, was a state of total darkness, we may yet affirm that Christ emphatically came as the light of the world. In no district of the earth—not even in Judæa, though privileged with revelation—was there anything that could be called more than the dawning of the day. Types there were—significative ceremonies—mysterious emblems, but these do not constitute the day. At best, they were but a twilight, that gave promise of the morning; and if that be all we can affirm of Judæa, then certainly, until the light of which we have been speaking, there brooded over other lands a darkness that might be felt. Here and there were lingering traces of a patriarchial religion; but every year saw the gathering of thicker gloom, and streak after streak grew dim on the firmament.

III. Such was the state of the whole Gentile world when He appeared, whom the prophecy announced as "a light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death." Was the testimony exaggerated, or has it been justified by events? Wheresoever the Gospel has been published and received as a communication from God, the darkness has fled as night flies before the sun. It hath hung the very grave with bright lamps, and rekindled the spirit of an almost quenched immortality. The pardon of sin, justification through the Mediator's righteousness, the gradual overcoming of the corruptions of nature, guidance in difficulty, guardianship in danger, comfort in affliction, triumph in death—all these are in the portion of him who follows Christ—followeth Him in faith as his surety, in obedience as his pattern. And are not these the light—yea, the light of life?

H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1829.

I. Jesus had often spoken this word before. Every act of mercy He did, spoke to the men who were the subjects of it. St. John dwells specially upon His cure of blindness. He takes that as an instance, and the clearest and liveliest instance, of the effects which were produced by all His miracles. Each sufferer felt that a power of darkness had taken hold of him; that a portion of the beauty and joy of the universe was hidden from him. The appearance of a deliverer who could set him free from his plague, was the appearance of a Light. He was brought out of a cave; the air that breathed upon the rest of men, was breathing on him; the common sun was shining on him. Christ's word was light; the entrance of it into the soul gave light, and that light diffused itself through every part of the man. It brought health and vigour wherever it encountered sickness and decay.

II. Divines are wont to make distinctions between Christ the Teacher of the world at large, and Christ the Teacher of the heart and conscience of each man. They talk of an outward Christ and an inward Christ. The Evangelists indulge in no such refinements. The Christ who was born of the Virgin, who suffered under Pontius Pilate, reveals Himself—not to the eyes of those who actually see and handle Him, but to a spirit within them. And so there is no need of artificial rules and distinctions, such as doctors invent for their own confusion. The Light makes the distinction. It is not the distinction of Pharisee or Publican, of religious men or irreligious. It goes deeper than that. It is the distinction between that in every man which welcomes the light, and claims kindred with it, and that in every man which eschews the light and would fain extinguish it for ever. It expresses itself in these words, "He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness." The Light of the world is not put out. Now have death and the grave been converted into the great testimonies for life and immortality. Now may each man, who has the sentence of Adam upon him, know that he is a kinsman of the Son of God. Now may he follow Him; and so, when the darkness is thickest around him and within, not walk in it, but see the Light of Life.

F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 203.


References: John 8:12.—H. Melvill, Voices of the Year, vol. i., p. 109; W. J. Hall, Church of England Pulpit, vol. x., p. 421; Good Words, vol. vi., p. 274; Preacher's Monthly, vol. viii., p. 369; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 193; A. McAuslane, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 321; W. M. Taylor, Three Hundred Outlines on the New Testament, p. 80; G. Matheson, Moments on the Mount, p. 250; E. Bersier, Sermons, 1st series, p. 136. D. Fraser, Metaphors of the Gospels, p. 16. John 8:15.—Homiletic Magazine, vol. xv., p. 168. John 8:18.—Three Hundred Outlines on the New Testament, p. 82; W. M. Taylor, The Gospel Miracles, p. 101. John 8:22.—T. Foster, Lectures, vol. i., p. 51.


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Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 8:12. I am the light of the world: In the transaction above related, Jesus appears unspeakably great, having displayed on the occasion a degree of wisdom, knowledge,goodness,andpower,evidentlymorethanhuman—wisdom,indefending himself against the malicious attacks of his enemies; knowledge, in discovering the invisible state of their mind; power, in making use of their own secret thoughts and convictions to disappoint their crafty intentions; and goodness, in pitying and not punishing instantly one who had been guilty of an atrocious act of wickedness; wherefore it was with singular propriety that, after this remarkable decision, addressinghimself to his disciples and the multitude, he called himself the Light of the world; in allusion either to Malachi 4:2 or the bright shining of the sun lately risen, and now darting his beams with great lustre and beauty upon them. "I am the Light of the world; I am the spiritual Sun, that dispels the darkness of ignorance and superstition, with which the minds of men are overcast: for by my doctrine and example I shew clearly every where the will of God, and the way of salvation. But observe, this sun arises in a few hours to descend again, and may fail many of you before your intended journey is dispatched: whereas he that perseveringly follows me, and governs himself by the dictates of my word and spirit, shall not be left to walk in the darkness of ignorance, error, and sin, but shall have the light of life continually shining upon him, to diffuse over his soul knowledge, holiness, and joy, tillhe is guided by it to eternal happiness." The reader will just recollect, to enter the better into the proprietyand spirit of our Lord's words, that this was the morning after the conclusion of the feast of tabernacles. See John 8:2.; and this discourse probably might have been delivered before the morning sacrifice; after which, no doubt, many would be setting out for their habitations in the country. Compare Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6. Malachi 4:2. Luke 2:32 and the passages in the margin.


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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour having baffled the design which the Pharisees had upon him, and showed a spirit of divine wisdom, in delivering himself from that snare which they had laid for him, he returns to instruct the people in the treasury.

And here note, 1. He instructs them in the nature of his office, which was to enlighten all men with the knowledge of divine truth; so that they should not walk in darkness, either of sin or error, but be led to eternal life.

Learn hence, That the great end and errand of Christ's coming into the world, was to give light unto poor souls that sat in darkness.

Observe, 2. The exception which the Pharisees made against our Saviour's testimony of himself: Thou barest record of thyself: thy record is not true. Indeed, such is the corrupt nature of man, which is prone to seek itself, and hunt after vain-glory, that it may render a person's testimony of himself suspected; but Christ being true God, that cannot lie, and coming out of the bosom of his Father, as his ambassador, his testimony of himself is above all exception, and ought to be credited without further proof.

Observe, 3. How Christ challenges his enemies the Pharisees for judging carnally of him, and according to the meanness of his outward appearance, whereas he judged no man; that is, 1st, No man, as they judged, according to outward show.

Or, 2ndly, I judge no man; that is, at present. My proper work is not to condemn any, but to teach all; and my present office is that of a prophet, not of a judge. My coming now is to instruct and save the world; my next coming will be to judge and condemn it.

Observe, 4. Christ declares that he is not alone in the testimony given of himself, but that the Father did also testify and bear witness of him, and that according to their own law, the testimony of two was always accounted and esteemed valid. "Now, says Christ, if so much weihgt be to be laid upon the testimony of two men, how much more forcible should the testimony of the Father, and of him whom the Father hath sent, be, to satisfy you, that what I say of myself is true?"

Learn hence, 1. That the Father and the Son, though one in essence and operation, yet are distinct persons.

2. That these distinct persons did bear joint witness concerning Christ. God the Father testified of him by a voice from heaven; and Christ, as God, bare witness of himself as man, and as Mediator. Surely out of the mouth of two such witnesses, the truth of Christ's divine mission is sufficiently established.


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Golden Chain Commentary on the Gospels

Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

ALCUIN. Having absolved the woman from her Sill, lest some should doubt, seeing that He was really man, His power to forgive sins, He deigns to give further disclosure of His divine nature; Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am. the Light of the world.

BEDE Where it is to be observed, He does not say, I am the light of Angels, or of heaven, but the Light of the world, i.e. of mankind who live in darkness, as we read, To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

CHRYS. As they had brought Galilee as an objection against Him, and doubted His being one of the Prophets, as if that was all He claimed to be, Me wished to show that He w as not one of the Prophets, but the Lord of the whole earth: Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the Light of the world: not of Galilee, or of Palestine, or of Judea.

AUG. The Manichaeans suppose the sun of the natural world to be our Lord Christ; but the Catholic Church reprobates such a notion for our Lord Christ was not made the sun, but the sun was made by Him: inasmuch as all things were made by Him. And for our sake did He come to be under the sun being the light which made the sun: He hid Himself under the cloud of the flesh, not to obscure, but to temper His light. Speaking then through the cloud of the flesh, the Light unfailing, the Light of wisdom says to men, I am the Light of the world.

THEOPHYL. You may bring these words against Nestorius: for our Lord does not say, In Me is the light of the world, but, I am the Light of the world: He who appeared man, was both the Son of God, and the Light of the world; not, as Nestorius fondly holds, the Son of God dwelling in a mere man.

AUG. He withdraws you however from the eyes of the flesh, to those of the heart, in that He adds, He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He thinks it not enough to say shall have light, but adds, of life. These words of our Lord agree with those of the Psalm, In Your light shall we see light; for with you is the well of life. For bodily uses, light is one thing, and a well another; and a well ministers to the mouth, light to the eyes. With God the light and the well are the same. He who shines upon you, that you may see Him, the Same flows to you, that you may drink Him. What He promises is put in the future tense; what we ought to do in the present. He that follows Me, He says, shall have; i.e. by faith now, in sight hereafter. The visible sun accompanies you, only if you go westward, whither it go also; and even if you follow it, it will forsake you, at its setting. Your God is every where wholly; He will not fall from you, if you fall not from Him. Darkness is to be feared, not that of the eyes, but that of the mind; and if of the eyes, of the inner not the outer eyes; not those by which white and black, but those by which just and unjust, are discerned.

CHRYS. Walk not in darkness, i.e. spiritually abide not in error. Here He tacitly praises Nicodemus and the officers, and censures those who had plotted against Him; as being in darkness and error, and unable to come to the light.


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Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

12.] The attempts of Bengel, Schulthess, and Stier, to establish a connexion with the passage concerning the woman taken in adultery are forced and harsh. It was, say they, the early morning (John 8:2) and the sun was just rising, to which these words τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσ. allude,—and the walking in darkness is an allusion to the woman, whose deed of darkness had been detected in the night. But not to dwell on other objections to this view,—e.g. that such an allusion to the woman would be wholly out of character after our Lord’s previous treatment of her,—how come these Pharisees, who on the hypothesis of the above Commentators are the same as those who accused the woman, to be again so soon present? Was this at all likely? We cannot escape from this difficulty with Stier, iv. 363, edn. 2, by supposing a multitude of the people to have been witnesses on both occasions: the οἱ φαρισαῖοι of the one must surely extend through the other, if this connexion is to be maintained.

On the other hand, this discourse comes in very well after ch. John 7:52. The last saying of Jesus (ch. John 7:37-38) had referred to a festal usage then just over: He now adds another of the same kind. It was the custom during the first night, if not during every night, of the feast of tabernacles (see authorities in Wetstein), to light up two large golden chandeliers in the court of the women, the light of which illuminated all Jerusalem. All that night they held a festal dance by the light.

Now granted that this was on the first night only,—what is there improbable in the supposition that our Lord—standing in the very place where the candlesticks had been or perhaps actually were—should have alluded to that practice, as He did to the outpouring of water in ch. John 7:37-38? Surely to say in both cases, as Lücke and De Wette do, that the allusion could not have been made unless the usage took place on that day, is mere trifling. While the feast lasted, and the remembrance of the ceremonies was fresh, the allusion would be perfectly natural.

τὸ φῶς τ. κόσ.] See on ch. John 1:9, and John 11:9-10. See also Isaiah 42:6; Malachi 4:2; and on τὸ φῶς τῆς ζωῆς, ch. John 1:4, and John 6:48.


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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 8:12". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-8.html. 1863-1878.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 1650

CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

John 8:12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

IT was customary with our blessed Lord to take occasion from things that were immediately before him to instil divine knowledge into his hearers. When he was at a well, he spake of himself as a fountain of living water: when mention had been made of the manna which was given to the Israelites in the wilderness, he represented himself as the bread that came down from heaven, that men might eat of it and live for ever: when he was passing though a vineyard, he set himself forth as the true and living vine, by an union with which all the branches were to bring forth fruit. Thus, it should seem, in the passage before us, being early in the temple [Note: ver. 2.], and beholding the sun shining bright upon him, he resumed his discourse which had been interrupted, and spake to all the people, saying, “I am the light of the world.”

We cannot but notice in this impressive declaration,

I. The excellency of Christ—

Of all the objects in the visible creation, the sun is the most splendid and majestic: and hence it is the most frequently selected to characterize our blessed Lord. The sun has in itself a fulness of light, and is the one source of light to the material world. In Christ also are “hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;” and from him alone is derived all spiritual light. It is he that enlightens all,

1. By his instructions—

[To form a correct judgment of this subject, we should survey the state of the world before the coming of Christ. The darkness that prevailed is justly styled by the prophet, “gross darkness.” The most learned philosophers could not absolutely determine whether there were a God; or, if there were, whether there were one or many. They conceived that there were some beings superior to themselves; and them they called gods: but the characters they assigned to them, were such as would disgrace the lowest of the human race. They felt themselves sinners; but the methods which they devised for expiating their crimes were beyond measure absurd. They could not account for the sin and misery which they both saw and felt, nor could they prescribe any remedy for these disorders. “They were vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened: professing themselves to be wise, they shewed themselves to be very fools [Note: Romans 1:21-22.].” But “the Dayspring from on high,” the Lord Jesus Christ, “has visited us, to give light to them that sat in darkness and the shadow of death [Note: Luke 1:78-79.].” He has declared to us fully the nature and perfections of God, the means of reconciliation with him, the duties we owe to him and to each other, and whatever else can conduce to the regulating of our lives or the furthering of our happiness.]

2. By his example—

[Had precepts alone been given us, we should have been ready to construe them in such a way, as would best suit with our carnal prejudices and sensual inclinations. But by exhibiting in his own life a perfect pattern of holiness, he has cut off all occasion for doubt respecting the nature or extent of our duty. We need only to walk as he walked, and we cannot err. Do we desire to ascertain what that service is, which we owe to God? we see in him, that we should have the whole law of God written in our hearts; and that it should be “our meat and our drink to do his will.” Do we wish to know how we should conduct ourselves towards our fellow-creatures? We have an unerring rule set before us, in his unruffled meekness, his inexhausted patience, his unbounded love: in laying down his life for his enemies, he has shewn us what we are to do, at least for the brethren, if not also even for our bitterest persecutors. In short, we can be in no situation whatever, wherein his example will not serve as a light to our feet and a lantern to our paths: if it do not shew us the precise act we are to perform, it will shew us infallibly the spirit we are to exercise.]

3. By his influence—

[The sun is of use to those only who have eyes to see it. But Jesus, at the same time that he imparts light, bestows upon us also the organs of vision whereby we may behold it. He “opens the eyes of our understanding;” and “shines into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” He not only causes “the day to dawn,” but is also “the Day-star arising in our hearts [Note: 2 Peter 1:19.].” He gives the spiritual discernment whereby alone we can discern the things of the Spirit, however clearly they were before revealed. Indeed, our reason is nothing more than a taper which He has lighted up in our minds: and much more is the faculty of comprehending the deep things of God, derived from him: so that that inspired testimony concerning him is strictly true, “He is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world [Note: John 1:9.].”]

From hence we are naturally led to consider,

II. The blessedness of his followers—

We regard with pity the inhabitants of the polar regions, who for half the year are statedly secluded from the cheering rays of the sun. We consider our quicker returns of light and darkness as incomparably more conducive to comfort and prosperity. But infinitely happier is he on whom the Sun of Righteousness has once arisen: for,

1. He shall not walk in darkness—

[Once he was guided altogether by erroneous principles. So blind was he, that he “put evil for good, and good for evil; darkness for light, and light for darkness.” Nor is this the case only with the ignorant and profane: it is equally true of those whose minds are cultivated, and whose lives are moral. Even Paul before his conversion, fraught as he was with the knowledge of the Scriptures, and zealous in the pursuit of righteousness, perpetrated the most horrible acts of wickedness under the idea of doing God service: “he verily thought with himself that he ought to do the things which he did.” But the follower of Christ, the true believer [Note: Compare John 12:46. with the text.], is not suffered to live under the influence of such delusions: his views are rectified: he beholds things in the light in which they are represented in the Scriptures; he has learned from them what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, and has his mind cast, as it were, into the very mould of the Gospel.

Once too he indulged himself in corrupt habits: whether more or less addicted to gross sin, he loved the ways of the world, and conformed himself to them: all his delight was in the things of time and sense: he lived as if he had nothing else to do, but to consult his reputation, ease, and interests in the world. But, having obtained mercy of the Lord, he now discerns the evil of such a life: he begins to see, that “to be thus carnallyminded is death:” and that there are objects infinitely nobler than those he has regarded, and more deserving his attention. Convinced of this, he “will not live any longer to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Instead of “fulfilling any longer the desires of the flesh and of the mind,” he strives henceforth to mortify them, and labours to “perfect holiness in the fear of God.”

We must add yet again, that he once walked in the darkness of distressing apprehensions. God has said, and experience proves, that “there is no peace to the wicked.” Every man in his unregenerate state is in bondage to the fear of death, and more or less under the terrors of a guilty conscience. The thoughts of death and judgment are painful to him; and he puts them far from him: he flees to business, to pleasure, to company, in order to dissipate those reflections which he cannot wholly avoid. He has an inward consciousness that he has not sought the Divine favour, and, in consequence of that, a secret fear that he shall not obtain it. From such feelings as these, the believer in Christ is happily delivered. “He knows in whom he has believed, and that his adorable Saviour is able to keep that which he has committed to him.” He has learned to reckon death among the number of his friends, and to regard it as the door of entrance into his Father’s presence. Instead of being harassed with a “fearful looking-for of judgment and fiery indignation,” he enjoys “that peace of God which passeth all understanding.”]

2. He shall have the light of life—

[There is a light which proceeds from life, and leads to life; and that light is his blessed portion. A dead man has no light at all: but a living man has senses given him, on purpose to guard him from things destructive, and to lead him to things conducive to his welfare. The sight, the hearing, the smell, the taste, the touch, have all their appropriate uses; and each has its peculiar office, in circumstances where the others can find no scope for exercise. They are so many sentinels, that guard every avenue of ill, and that give warning on the first approach of evil. Thus protected is the follower of Christ: he has spiritual senses, which, being of quick perception to discern good and evil, give early notice of the things which might prove fatal to the soul. They serve as “a light to his feet, and a lantern to his paths.” Solomon justly observes, that “the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly [Note: Proverbs 20:27.].” This candle being duly trimmed, his way is made plain before his face; and he is enabled to walk without stumbling: “He walks in the light, as God is in the light;” and thus maintains sweet fellowship with God, and a sense of his pardoning love in Christ Jesus [Note: 1 John 1:7.]. If at any-time, through temptation or distress, this light burn dim, he cries to his Lord and Saviour, who has promised to send him fresh supplies of his Spirit; and speedily does “light arise to him in his obscurity, and his darkness becomes as the noon-day [Note: Isaiah 58:10.].” Thus guided through his whole life, he arrives at last at those blessed regions, “whereof the Lamb is the light [Note: Revelation 21:23.],” and where “his Lord shall be an everlasting light, and his God his glory [Note: Isaiah 60:19.].”]

Application—

[You can easily conceive the difference both in the feeling and the safety of one that walks in midnight darkness, and of one that travels in the light of the noon-day sun. O that all would make a just application of this thought to their own case, and resolve without delay to become followers of Christ [Note: John 12:35-36. Jeremiah 13:16.]!]


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Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 8:12. The interpolated section, John 7:53 to John 8:11, being deleted, we must look for some connection with John 7:52. This may be found simply as follows. As the Sanhedrim had not been able to carry out their design of apprehending Jesus, and had, moreover, become divided among themselves (as is recorded in John 7:45-52), He was able, in consequence of this miscarriage in their plans against Him ( οὖν), to come forth afresh and address the assembled people in the temple ( αὐτοῖς, comp. John 8:20). This renewed coming forward to address them is not, however, to be placed on the last day of the feast, but is so definitely marked off by John 8:20 as a special act, and so clearly distinguished from the preceding, that it must be assigned to one of the following days; just as in John 8:21 the similar transition and the recurring πάλιν introduce again a new discourse spoken on another day. Others take a different view, putting the discourses in John 8:12-20, and even that also in John 8:21 ff., on the day named in chap. John 7:37; but against this is not only the πάλιν of John 8:12 and John 8:21, but the οὖν, which in both places bears an evident reference to some preceding historical observation. Though Lücke’s difficulty, that a single day would be too short for so many discourses and replies, can have no weight, there is yet no sufficient ground for De Wette’s supposition, that John did not know how to hold securely the thread of the history.

I am the light of the world, i.e. (comp. on John 1:4) the possessor and bearer of the divine truth of salvation ( τ. φ. τῆς ζωῆς), from whom this saving truth goes forth to all mankind ( κόσμος), who without Christ are dark and dead. The light is not identical with the salvation (Hengstenberg), but salvation is the necessary emanation therefrom; without the light there is no salvation. So also Isaiah 49:6; comp. Isaiah 42:6. To regard the figure which Christ here employs, in witnessing to Himself, as suggested by some outward object—for example, by the two colossal golden candlesticks which were lighted at the feast of Tabernacles (but certainly only on the first day; see Succah v. 2) in the forecourt of the women, where also was the γαζοφυλάκιον, John 8:20, on either side of the altar of burnt-offering (Wetstein, Paulus, Olshausen),—is a precarious supposition, as the feast was now over; at the most, we can only associate the words with the sight of the candelabra, as Hug and Lange do—the latter intermingling further references to spiritual darkness from the history of the adulteress. But the figure, corresponding as it essentially does with the thing signified, had been given long before, and was quite a familiar one in the prophetic view of the idea of the Messiah (Isaiah 9:1; Isaiah 42:6; Malachi 4:2). Comp. also Matthew 4:15-16; Luke 2:32; and the Rabbinical references in Lightfoot, p. 1041. There is really no need to suppose any special suggesting cause, not even the reading of Isaiah 42; for though the Scriptures were read in the synagogues, we have no proof that they were read in the temple. To find also a reference to the pillar of fire in the wilderness (Godet), according to which the ἀκολουθῶν, κ. τ. λ., has reference to Israel’s wanderings, is quite arbitrary; no better, indeed, than the reference of John 7:37 to the rock in the wilderness.

οὐ μὴ περιπατήσει] The strongly attested, though not decisively confirmed, subjunctive περιπατήσῃ (so Lachmann, Tischendorf) would be the most usual word in the N. T. after οὐ μή, and might therefore all the more easily have displaced the future, which could hardly have been introduced through the following ἕξει, seeing that the latter word has no connection with οὐ μή. Upon οὐ μή, with the more definitely assuring future, see on Matthew 26:35; Mark 14:31.

ἕξει τὸ φῶς τ. ζωῆς] As the antithesis of the divine ἀλήθεια, the σκοτία, is the causative element of death, so is the light the cause of life, i.e. of the true eternal Messianic life, not only in its consummation after the Parousia, but already also in its temporal development (comp. John 3:15). ἕξει, it will not be wanting to him, he will be in possession of it, for it necessarily communicates itself to him direct from its personal source, which he follows in virtue of his fellowship with Christ (“lux enim praeferri solet,” Grotius). The ἀκολουθεῖν takes place through faith; but in the believer, who as such walks no more in darkness (John 12:46; Ephesians 5:8; Colossians 1:13), Christ Himself lives (the Johannean “I in you,” and the Pauline Galatians 2:20; see on John 6:51), and therefore he has that light of life which proceeds from Christ as a real and inward possession (Nonnus, ὁμόφοιτον ἐν θὐτῷ); he is υἱὸς φωτός (John 12:36), and himself “light in the Lord” (Ephesians 5:8). This explanation, not merely the having Christ with him (Weiss), is required by the context; because ἕξει, κ. τ. λ., is the result of the ἀκολουθεῖν, and therefore of faith (comp. John 3:15; John 3:36, John 5:24, John 6:47), and accordingly τῆς ζωῆς is added.


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Bibliography
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 8:12". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-8.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 8:12. πάλιν, again) as at ch. 7. Jesus is wont to take the beginnings of His discourses from the doctrine of salvation: then, when men contradict. He adds a proof.— τὸ φῶς, the Light) An expression suitable to the time of His speaking, the morning, and opposed to the works of darkness, such as is adultery.— τοῦ κίσμου, of the world) the whole world.— ἀκολουθῶν, he who follows) By this very expression He shows, that adultery is by no means sanctioned by Him, although He did not pronounce condemnation on the adulteress.


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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 8:12". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-8.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I am the light of the world; this is what John the Baptist had said of Christ before, John 1:4,5, and what Christ saith of himself afterward, John 9:5. It was prophesied of him, that he should be a light to the Gentiles, and God’s salvation to the ends of the earth, Isaiah 46:6. And old Simeon saith of him, Luke 2:32, that he was to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of his people Israel. Light is a thing glorious in itself, and communicative of itself unto others to guide them. So as Christ is most aptly compared to light, and spoken of under that notion; as for his own innate glory, so for the communicativeness of himself to creatures; which latter appeareth to be chiefly here intended: for he saith, that he who followed him, believing his doctrine, and obeying his precepts, living according to his direction and his example, should not be at a loss how to guide himself, nor remain in the darkness of sin, ignorance, and spiritual death; but should have that light which bringeth life along with it, and is sufficient to guide a man in all the works of a spiritual life, and at last bring him to life eternal.


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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 8:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-8.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

John

THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD

John 8:12.

Jesus Christ was His own great theme. Whatever be the explanation of the fact, there stands the fact that, if we know anything at all about His habitual tone of teaching, we know that it was full of Himself. We know, too, that what He said about Himself was very unlike the language becoming a wise and humble religious teacher. Both the prominence given to His own personality, and the tremendous claims He advances for Himself, are hard to reconcile with any conception of His nature and work except one,-that there we see God manifest in the flesh. Are such words as these fit to be spoken by any man conscious of his own limitations and imperfections of life and knowledge? Would they not be fatal to any one’s pretensions to be a teacher of religion or morality? They assert that the Speaker is the Source of illumination for the world; the only Source; the Source for all. They assert that ‘following’ Him, whether in belief or in deed, is the sure deliverance from all darkness, either of error or of sin; and implants in every follower a light which is life. And the world, instead of turning away from such monstrous assumptions, and drowning them in scornful laughter, or rebelling against them, has listened, and largely believed, and has not felt them to mar the beauty of meekness, which, by a strange anomaly, this Man says that He has.

Words parallel to these are frequent on our Lord’s lips. In each instance they have some special appropriateness of application, as is probably the case here. The suggestion has been reasonably made, that there is an allusion in them to part of the ceremonial connected with the Feast of Tabernacles, at which we find our Lord present in the previous chapter. Commentators tell us that on the first evening of the Feast, two huge golden lamps, which stood one on each side of the altar of burnt offering in the Temple court, were lighted as the night began to fall, and poured out a brilliant flood over Temple and city and deep gorge; while far into the midnight, troops of rejoicing worshippers clustered about them with dance and song. The possibility of this reference is strengthened by the note of place which our Evangelist gives. ‘These things spake Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the Temple,’ for the ‘treasury’ stood in the same court, and doubtless the golden lamps were full in sight of the listening groups. It is also strengthened by the unmistakable allusion in the previous chapter to another portion of the ceremonial of the Feast, where our Lord puts forth another of His great self-revelations and demands, in singular parallelism with that of our text, in the words, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.’ That refers to the custom during the Feast of drawing water from the fountain of Siloam, which was poured out on the altar, while the gathered multitude chanted the old strain of Isaiah’s prophecy: ‘With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.’ It is to be remembered, too, in estimating the probability of our text belonging to these Temple-sayings at the Feast, that the section which separates it from them, and contains the story about the woman taken in adultery, is judged by the best critics to be out of place here, and is not found in the most valuable manuscripts. If, then, we suppose this allusion to be fairly probable, I think it gives a special direction and meaning to these grand words, which it may be worth while to think of briefly.

The first thing to notice is-the intention of the ceremonial to which our Lord here points as a symbol of Himself. What was the meaning of these great lights that went flashing through the warm autumn nights of the festival? All the parts of that Feast were intended to recall some feature of the forty years’ wanderings in the wilderness; the lights by the altar were memorials of the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night. When, then, Jesus says, ‘I am the Light of the world,’ He would declare Himself as being in reality, and to every soul of man to the end of time, what that cloud with its heart of fire was in outward seeming to one generation of desert wanderers.

Now, the main thing which it was to these, was the visible vehicle of the divine presence. ‘The Lord went before them in a pillar of a cloud.’ ‘The Lord looked through the pillar.’ ‘The Lord came down in the cloud and spake with him.’ The ‘cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord appeared.’ Such is the way in which it is ever spoken of, as being the manifestation to Israel in sensible form of the presence among them of God their King. ‘The glory of the Lord’ has a very specific meaning in the Old Testament. It usually signifies that brightness, the flaming heart of the cloudy pillar, which for the most part, as it would appear, veiled by the cloud, gathered radiance as the world grew darker at set of sun, and sometimes, at great crises in the history, as at the Red Sea, or on Sinai, or in loving communion with the law-giver, or in swift judgment against the rebels, rent the veil and flamed on men’s eyes. I need not remind you how this same pillar of cloud and fire, which at once manifested and hid God, was thereby no unworthy symbol of Him who remains, after all revelation, unrevealed. Whatsoever sets forth, must also shroud, the infinite glory. Concerning all by which He makes Himself known to eye, or mind, or heart, it must be said, ‘And there was the hiding of His power.’ The fire is ever folded in the cloud. Nay, at bottom, the light which is full of glory is therefore inaccessible, and the thick darkness in which He dwells is but the ‘glorious privacy’ of perfect light.

That guiding pillar, which moved before the moving people-a cloud to shelter from the scorching heat, a fire to cheer in the blackness of night-spread itself above the sanctuary of the wilderness; and ‘the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.’ When the moving Tabernacle gave place to the fixed Temple, again ‘the cloud filled the house of the Lord’; and there-dwelling between the cherubim, the types of the whole order of creatural life, and above the mercy-seat, that spoke of pardon, and the ark that held the law, and behind the veil, in the thick darkness of the holy of holies, where no feet trod, save once a year one white-robed priest, in the garb of a penitent, and bearing the blood that made atonement-shone the light of the glory of God, the visible majesty of the present Deity.

But long centuries had passed since that light had departed. ‘The glory’ had ceased from the house that now stood on Zion, and the light from between the cherubim. Shall we not, then, see a deep meaning and reference to that awful blank, when Jesus standing there in the courts of that Temple, whose inmost shrine was, in a most sad sense, empty, pointed to the quenched lamps that commemorated a departed Shechinah, and said, ‘I am the Light of the world’?

He is the Light of the world, because in Him is the glory of God. His words are madness, and something very like blasphemy, unless they are vindicated by the visible indwelling in Him of the present God. The cloud of the humanity, ‘the veil, that is to say, His flesh,’ enfolds and tempers; and through its transparent folds reveals, even while it swathes, the Godhead. Like some fleecy vapour flitting across the sun, and irradiated by its light, it enables our weak eyes to see light, and not darkness, in the else intolerable blaze. Yes! Thou art the Light of the world, because in Thee dwelleth ‘the fulness of the Godhead bodily.’ Thy servant hath taught us the meaning of Thy words, when he said: ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.’

Then, subordinate to this principal thought, is the other on which I may touch for a moment-that Christ, like that pillar of cloud and fire, guides us in our pilgrimage. You may remember how emphatically the Book of Numbers [Numbers 9:1 - Numbers 9:23] dwells upon the absolute control of all the marches and halts by the movements of the cloud. When it was taken up, they journeyed; when it settled down, they encamped. As long as it lay spread above the Tabernacle, there they stayed. Impatient eyes might look, and impatient spirits chafe-no matter. The camp might be pitched in a desolate place, away from wells and palm-trees, away from shade, among fiery serpents, and open to fierce foes-no matter. As long as the pillar was motionless, no man stirred. Weary slow days might pass in this compulsory inactivity; but ‘whether it were two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud tarried upon the Tabernacle, the children of Israel journeyed not.’ And whenever It lifted itself up,-no matter how short had been the halt, how weary and footsore the people, how pleasant the resting-place-up with the tent-pegs immediately, and away. If the signal were given at midnight, when all but the watchers slept, or at midday, it was all the same. There was the true Commander of their march. It was not Moses, nor Jethro, with his quick Arab eye and knowledge of the ground, that guided them; but that stately, solemn pillar, that floated before them. How they must have watched for the gathering up of its folds as they lay softly stretched along the Tabernacle roof; and for its sinking down, and spreading itself out, like a misty hand of blessing, as it sailed in the van!

‘I am the Light of the world.’ We have in Him a better guide through worse perplexities than theirs. By His Spirit within us, by that all-sufficient and perfect example of His life, by the word of His Gospel, and by the manifold indications of His providence, Jesus Christ is our Guide. If ever we go astray, it is not His fault, but ours. How gentle and loving that guidance is, none who have not yielded to it can tell. How wise and sure, none but those who have followed it know. He does not say ‘Go,’ but ‘Come.’ When He puts forth His sheep, He goes before them. In all rough places His quick hand is put out to save us. In danger He lashes us to Himself, as Alpine guides do when there is perilous ice to get across. As one of the psalms puts it, with wonderful beauty: ‘I will guide thee with Mine eye’-a glance, not a blow-a look of directing love, that at once heartens to duty and tells duty. We must be very near Him to catch that look, and very much in sympathy with Him to understand it; and when we do, we must be swift to obey. Our eyes must be ever toward the Lord, or we shall often be marching on, unwitting that the pillar has spread itself for rest, or idly dawdling in our tents long after the cloud has gathered itself up for the march. Do not let impatience lead you to hasty interpretation of His plans before they are fairly evolved. Many men by self-will, by rashness, by precipitate hurry in drawing conclusions about what they ought to do, have ruined their lives. Take care, in the old-fashioned phrase, of ‘running before you are sent.’ There should always be a good clear space between the guiding ark and you, ‘about two thousand cubits by measure,’ that there may be no mistakes about the road. It is neither reverent nor wise to be treading on the heels of our Guide in our eager confidence that we know where He wants us to go.

Do not let the warmth by the camp-fire, or the pleasantness of the shady place where your tent is pitched, keep you there when the cloud lifts. Be ready for change, be ready for continuance, because you are in fellowship with your Leader and Commander; and let Him say, Go, and you go; Do this, and you gladly do it, until the hour when He will whisper, Come; and, as you come, the river will part, and the journey will be over, and ‘the fiery, cloudy pillar,’ that ‘guided you all your journey through,’ will spread itself out an abiding glory, in that higher home where ‘the Lamb is the light thereof.’

All true following of Christ begins with faith, or we might almost say that following is faith, for we find our Lord substituting the former expression for the latter in another passage of this Gospel parallel with the present. ‘I am come a Light into the world, that whosoever believeth on Me should not walk in darkness.’ The two ideas are not equivalent, but faith is the condition of following; and following is the outcome and test, because it is the operation, of faith. None but they who trust Him will follow Him. He who does not follow, does not trust. To follow Christ, means to long and strive after His companionship; as the Psalmist says, ‘My soul followeth hard after Thee.’ It means the submission of the will, the effort of the whole nature, the daily conflict to reproduce His example, the resolute adoption of His command as my law, His providence as my will, His fellowship as my joy. And the root and beginning of all such following is in coming to Him, conscious of mine own darkness, and trustful in His great light. We must rely on a Guide before we accept His directions; and it is absurd to pretend that we trust Him, if we do not go as He bids us. So ‘Follow thou Me’ is, in a very real sense, the sum of all Christian duty.

That thought opens out very wide fields, into which we must not even glance now; but I cannot help pausing here to repeat the remark already made, as to the gigantic and incomprehensible self-confidence that speaks here. ‘Followeth Me’; then Jesus Christ calmly proposes Himself as the aim and goal for every soul of man; sets up His own doings as an all-sufficient rule for us all, with all our varieties of temper, character, culture, and work, and quietly assumes to have a right of precedence before, and of absolute command over, the whole world. They are all to keep behind Him, He thinks, be they saints or sages, kings or beggars; and the liker they are to Himself, He thinks, the nearer they will be to perfectness and life. He puts Himself at the head of the mystic march of the generations, and, like the mysterious Angel that Joshua saw in the plain by Jericho, makes the lofty claim: ‘Nay, but as Captain of the Lord’s host am I come up.’ Do we admit His claim because we know His Name? Do we yield Him full trust because we have learned that He is the Light of men since He is the Word of God? Do we follow Him with loyal obedience, longing love, and lowly imitation, since He has been and is to us the Saviour of our souls?

In the measure in which we do, the great promises of this wonderful saying will be verified and understood by us-’He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness.’ That saying has, as one may say, a lower and a higher fulfilment. In the lower, it refers to practical life and its perplexities. Nobody who has not tried it would believe how many difficulties are cleared out of a man’s road by the simple act of trying to follow Christ. No doubt there will still remain obscurities enough as to what we ought to do, to call for the best exercise of patient wisdom; but an enormous proportion of them vanish like mist when the sun breaks through, when once we honestly set ourselves to find out whither the pillared Light is guiding. It is a reluctant will, and intrusive likings and dislikings, that obscure the way for us, much oftener than real obscurity in the way itself. It is seldom impossible to discern the divine will, when we only wish to know it that we may do it. And if ever it is impossible for us, surely that impossibility is like the cloud resting on the Tabernacle-a sign that for the present His will is that we should be still, and wait, and watch.

But there is a higher meaning in the words than even this promise of practical direction. In the profound symbolism of Scripture, especially of this Gospel, ‘darkness’ is the name for the whole condition of the soul averted from God. So our Lord here is declaring that to follow Him is the true deliverance from that midnight of the soul. There are a darkness of ignorance, a darkness of impurity, a darkness of sorrow; and in that threefold gloom, thickening to a darkness of death, are they enwrapt who follow not the Light. That is the grim, tragical side of this saying, too sad, too awful for our lips to speak much of, and best left in the solemn impressiveness of that one word. But the hopeful, blessed side of it is, that the feeblest beginnings of trust in Jesus Christ, and the first tottering steps that try to tread in His, bring us into the light. It does not need that we have reached our goal, it is enough that our faces are turned to it, and our hearts desire to attain it, then we may be sure that the dominion of the darkness over us is broken. To follow, though it be afar off, and with unequal steps, fills our path with increasing brightness, and even though evil and ignorance and sorrow may thrust their blackness in upon our day, they are melting in the growing glory, and already we may give thanks ‘unto the Father who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son.’

But we have not merely the promise that we shall be led by the light and brought into the light. A yet deeper and grander gift is offered here: ‘He shall have the light of life.’ I suppose that means, not, as it is often carelessly taken to mean, a light which illuminates the life, but, like the similar phrases of this Gospel, ‘bread of life,’ ‘water of life,’-light which is life. ‘In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.’ These two are one in their source, which is Jesus, the Word of God. Of Him we have to say, ‘With Thee is the fountain of life, in Thy light shall we see light.’ They are one in their deepest nature; the life is the light, and the light the life. And this one gift is bestowed upon every soul that follows Christ. Not only will our outward lives be illumined or guided from without, but our inward being will be filled with the brightness. ‘Ye were sometimes darkness, now are ye light in the Lord.’

That pillar of fire remained apart and without. But this true and better Guide of our souls enters in and dwells in us, in all the fulness of His triple gift of life, and light, and love. Within us He will chiefly prove Himself the Guide of our spirits, and will not merely cast His beams on the path of our feet, but will fill and flood us with His own brightness. All light of knowledge, of goodness, of gladness will be ours, if Christ be ours; and ours He surely will be if we follow Him. Let us take heed, lest turning away from Him we follow the will-o’-the-wisps of our own fancies, or the dancing lights, born of putrescence, that flicker above the swamps, for they will lead us into doleful lands where evil things haunt, and into outer darkness. Let us take heed how we use that light of God; for Christ, like His symbol of old, has a double aspect according to the eye which looks. ‘It came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel, and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these.’ He is either a Stone of stumbling or a sure Foundation, a savour of life or of death, and which He is depends on ourselves. Trusted, loved, followed, He is light. Neglected, turned from, He is darkness. Though He be the Light of the world, it is only the man who follows Him to whom He can give the light of life. Therefore, man’s awful prerogative of perverting the best into the worst forced Him, who came to be the light of men, to that sad and solemn utterance: ‘For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see, and that they which see might be made blind.’


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Bibliography
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 8:12". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-8.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Light of life; that knowledge of God which is life to the soul. Chap John 1:4-9.


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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-8.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

12. πάλιν οὖν. The paragraph John 7:53 to John 8:11 being omitted, these words must be connected with John 7:52. The officers have made their report to the Sanhedrin, leaving Jesus unmolested. After an interval He continues His discourse: again, therefore, Jesus spake unto them, i.e. because the attempt to interfere with Him had failed. How long the interval was we do not know, but probably a few hours.

ἐγώ εἰμι τ. φῶς τ. κ. see on John 6:35. Once more we have a possible reference to the ceremonies of the Feast of Tabernacles, somewhat less probable than the other (see on John 7:37), but not improbable. Large candelabra were lighted in the Court of the Women on the evening of the first day of the Feast in memory of the pillar of fire at the Exodus, and these flung their light over the whole city. Authorities differ as to whether this illumination was repeated, but all are agreed that it did not take place on the last evening. Here, therefore, there was once more a gap, which Christ Himself may have designed to fill; and while the multitude were missing the festal light of the great lamps, He declares, ‘I am the Light of the world.’ ‘Light,’ according to tradition, was one of the names of the Messiah. In the case of the water we know that it was poured on each of the seven days, and that Christ spoke the probable reference to it on the last day of the Feast. But in this case the illumination took place possibly on the first night only, and Christ certainly did not utter this possible reference to it until the last day of the Feast, or perhaps not until the Feast was all over. But the fact that the words were spoken in the Court of the Women (see on John 8:20) makes the reference not improbable; and πάλιν may point to this: Jesus having appropriated the type of the Rock, now appropriates that of the Pillar of Fire.

ὁ ἀκολουθῶν. This expression also is in favour of the reference. ‘The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light’ (Exodus 13:21). So Christ here declares that those who follow Him shall in nowise walk in the darkness. The negative (οὐ μή) is very strong. This use of ‘darkness’ for moral evil is peculiar to S. John: see on John 1:5, where (as here) we have light and life (John 8:4) closely connected, while darkness is opposed to both.

ἕξει. Not only with him but in him, so that he also becomes a source of light. see on John 7:38 and comp. ‘Ye are the light of the world’ Matthew 5:14. Τῆς ζωῆς means ‘giving life’ not merely ‘leading to life:’ see on John 6:35 and John 1:4. Note that as in the case of the living bread and the living water so also here the believer is not a mere passive recipient; he has to eat and to drink to appropriate the heavenly food, and here he has to follow to appropriate the heavenly light. In the early Church candidates for baptism first turned to the West and renounced Satan and his works and then to the East, ‘the place of light,’ and professed allegiance to Christ (the Light of the world and the Sun of righteousness) and a belief in the Trinity (Dionys. Areop. Eccl. Hier.; S. Cyril Cat. Myst. I.) From this very ancient custom the practice of turning to the east at the Creed is derived. Comp. Tert. Apol. XVI.; In Valent. III.; Apost. Const. II. vii. 57; Clem. Alex. Strom. VII. vii.; &c.


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"Commentary on John 8:12". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/john-8.html. 1896.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.’

Note that this next section commences with the introductory words, ‘Again Jesus spoke to them’. ‘Spoke to them’ refers to the large crowd in John 7:43. The controversy with the Pharisees continues. Here Jesus declares openly, while speaking to the crowds in the Temple treasury (presumably the place where the large trumpet shaped collecting boxes were in the court of the women - v. 20), ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life’. This is His second distinctive ‘I am’ saying, His first having been ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6:35). Here then is the One Who not only feeds the hearts of men but Who also brings the ‘life which is the light of men’ (John 1:4), Who is the One Who shines in the darkness (John 1:5) and is the true light which lightens every man who is open to receive it (John 1:9).

These statements are specifically drawing attention to His uniqueness as God’s revelation and source of life to man, and indicating that He is One Who cannot be ignored. Others would speak of the Scriptures as ‘a light’ (Psalms 119:105) to lead men into faith and truth, but He speaks of Himself asthelight. It compares with the way He could say ‘but I say to you’ in the Matthew 5:22 etc. It was a claim to unique authority.

In the Old Testament God is constantly revealed as the Light (Psalms 27:1; Psalms 36:9; Isaiah 2:5; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 60:1-2; Isaiah 60:19; Micah 7:8-9), a light of glory which was to shine on His people (Isaiah 61:-1-2) and in the same way the Servant of God in Isaiah was to be a light to the nations (the world - Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6). Now the world needs to recognise that One has come Who is that Light.

The mention of ‘light’ at this particular feast was especially significant. The feast was seen as a reminder of the journey through the wilderness under Moses, and a great lampstand of fiery flames would be erected in the Temple courtyard and the whole Temple illuminated as a reminder of the pillar of fire that illuminated the way for the people of Israel at the time of their deliverance. The pillar of fire had been Israel’s light on the way to freedom, and it represented God Himself as present with His people. Jesus is now saying, therefore, that He is that light, seeking to lead all men to safety and a new life, and revealing the presence of God with them. Just as Israel of old followed the flame of fire as God led the way, safe and secure because God was with them, so now all who become His people can follow the new manifestation of God, Jesus Christ Himself, the light of the world, the light which springs from His life.

But once the feast was over that lamp would cease to be lighted. The courtyard in the Temple would cease to be brightly illuminated. The people would return to their humdrum lives. That light was temporary. But now Jesus, as the Light of the world, was here and would continue to shine on and within His people, shining ever brighter day by day.

By this He was claiming uniquely to present men with truth and understanding, both about God and about themselves, and to give them a new spiritual life within, by bestowing on them eternal life and shining in their hearts with the truth of God. His own life would act as a light to show men that truth, and along with His teaching would lead them ‘out of darkness into His most marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9). Furthermore men’s sins would be revealed in that light, and some would turn away from their sins and begin to live lives approved by God (John 3:19-21). Thus would they find life through faith in Him.

But His glory would also be revealed though His own life and teaching, so that John could say ‘we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth’ (John 1:14). That is why Paul could say, we see ‘the light of the good news of the glory of Christ who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). And, as we see this light, it shines in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God Himself in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). No one has ever seen God, but the only Son, Who came from intimate closeness with the Father Himself, makes Him known (John 1:18). So through Him as the light, God is revealed as never before to those whose eyes are opened (compare Isaiah 60:1-2; Isaiah 60:19).

These amazing benefits were and are available to all who follow Him and receive from Him ‘the light of life’ (see Psalms 36:9) by responding to His words and receiving the work of the Spirit in their hearts (John 6:63). This life illuminates them so that they see His glory and come to know Him for what He is, and gain a new awareness of God. They receive a totally new spiritual and moral outlook as His light shines in their hearts, and ‘they see’. Conversely, those who do not respond fail to see. They continue to walk in darkness.

We are reminded again of those words, “the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, those who dwell in the land of the shadow of death on them has the light shined’ (Isaiah 9:2), words which as we have seen are connected with Galilee (Isaiah 9:1). In the original Greek text John 8:12 came directly after John 7:52. This was thus Jesus response to the denial of the Pharisees that a prophet could arise out of Galilee. Even Scripture had declared that the light would first shine in Galilee. And He was now here as that light, shining in the land of the shadow of death (or ‘in the deep darkness’).


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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-8.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12. Light of the world—What suggested this topic will appear from the following statement in Stier’s Words of Jesus, vol. v, p. 314.

“There was, originally, on the evening of the second (not the first) day of the feast a peculiar festive illumination observed; according to Maimonides it was repeated on each of the remaining evenings, and the pleasure which the people would take in such things renders his word very probable. In the court of the women, where the treasury (John 8:20) was, and so on the spot where the Lord was now speaking, there stood two colossal golden LAMPS, which were ascended by steps; their light, kindled after the evening sacrifice, diffused its brilliance, it was said, over the whole of Jerusalem.

With childlike merriment (John 5:35) they held a dance with torches around these luminaries, in which the most reverend men, suppose, the liberal accompaniment of shouting and singing on the part of the people.

“The meaning of this symbolical rite was similar to that of the pouring out of the water, with which the account of that ceremony places it in connection. The people had indeed forgotten its significance; but its meaning was there, and that manifold; it had reference, most obviously, partly to God’s former mercies to Israel, and partly to His merciful designs in the future. The water poured out at the Feast of Tabernacles reminded them of the rock in the wilderness, and the brilliant light reminded them of the pillar of fire which guided them; but even as the water spoke also of the fountain which should pour forth its streams at the Messiah’s coming, so also did the light speak of the promised shining forth of God out of Zion. It is not improbable that there was even a more distinctive reference in the evening illumination to the promise of Zechariah 14:7; since, in the fourteenth verse of that chapter, that time is specified as the Feast of Tabernacles for all people.

“It was not indeed into the midst of the tumultuous whirl that Jesus sounded forth his testimony—I am the true Light! But it is sufficiently obvious, nevertheless, that he does refer to the festival, though past; for the minds of the people were full of the ideas connected with it, long after it was over. Even if the gorgeous illumination occurred on the second day only of the feast, yet an allusion to it would fall in with the people’s thought readily enough; the lamps were not yet removed, and in their near neighbourhood the Lord now spake.”

Certainly it was suitable that the real Light should succeed the symbolical, as the real Sacrifice succeeded the typical.

The lofty strain of self-announcement as the world’s Light, with which the discourse here commences, is forthwith broken off by the malignant interruption. No less than seven such interruptions occur in the discourse, giving it a variety of unexpected turns, and changing, to a great degree, its entire train. In this first half, (John 8:12-30,) Jesus asserts his own and his Father’s attestation, John 8:14-19; the fatal effect of rejection, John 8:21-24; the sure evidence of the attestation, John 8:25-29. conversation, (John 8:31-40,) and Jesus meets them with a firm reply. Formerly he accepted the human maxim that self-attestation is not to be received as true, and in compliance with the maxim he quoted three witnesses. Now he places himself above the maxim, and gives his own word as authoritative and final. His own I know is ample assurance to the world.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-8.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The context of the events in this paragraph continues to be the temple during the feast of Tabernacles ( John 8:20; cf. John 7:14). Jesus was speaking to the Jews who had assembled there, some of whom were residents of Jerusalem and others pilgrims from other parts of Palestine and the world. This teaching may have taken place on the day after the feast, which was also a day of great celebration. [Note: Edersheim, 2:164.]

Jesus here made the second of His "I am" claims (cf. John 6:35). This time He professed to be the Light of the World (cf. John 1:4). The water of life and the bread of life figures represent what satisfies and sustains life. The light of life figure stands for what dispels the darkness of ignorance and death. Jesus was claiming that whoever believes in Him will enjoy the light that comes from God"s presence and produces life.

The light metaphor was ancient in Israel"s history. The Jews associated light with God"s presence. He had created light on the first day and lights on the fourth day of Creation ( Genesis 1:3; Genesis 1:14-19). He had revealed Himself in a flame to Moses on the Midianite desert ( Exodus 3). He had also protectively led the Israelites through the wilderness in a cloudy pillar of fire ( Exodus 13:21-22; Exodus 14:19-25; Numbers 9:15-23), and He had appeared to them on Mt. Sinai in fire. These are only a few instances in which God had associated His presence with fire and light (cf. Psalm 27:1; Psalm 36:9; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23). Symbolically the light represented various characteristics of God, particularly His Revelation , holiness, and salvation (cf. Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 1:13; Ezekiel 1:26-28; Habakkuk 3:3-4).

Isaiah had predicted that the Servant of the Lord would be a light to the nations ( Isaiah 49:6). God Himself would illuminate His people in the messianic age ( Isaiah 60:19-22; Zechariah 14:5-7; cf. Revelation 21:23-24). However in Jesus" day the light of righteousness was in mortal conflict with the darkness of sin ( John 1:4; John 1:9; John 3:19-21). Many religions contain the light and darkness symbolism, but John presented Jesus as the true Light. It is particularly the aspect of light as revelation that constituted the focus of the controversy surrounding Jesus" claim. The Jews considered the Old Testament and their traditions as authoritative Revelation , the true light. They also spoke of Torah, the temple, Adam, and Johanan ben Zakkai, one of their leaders, as the light of the world. [Note: See Beasley-Murray, p128.] Now Jesus challenged that authority by claiming to be the true (final and full, cf. John 1:9) revelation from God (cf. Hebrews 1:1-3). He invited the Jews to "follow" Him as the true light (cf. the pillar of fire in the wilderness).

"More important to the immediate context, the theme of light is not unrelated to the question of truthfulness and witness in the following verses, for light cannot but attest to its own presence; otherwise put, it bears witness to itself, and its source is entirely supportive of that witness." [Note: Carson, The Gospel . . ., pp338-39.]

Part of the feast of Tabernacles was the lamp-lighting ceremony. Every evening during the festival a priest would light the three huge torches on the menorah (lampstand) in the women"s court (or treasury) of the temple. These lights would illuminate the entire temple compound throughout the night. People would bring smaller torches into the temple precincts, light them, and sing and dance sometimes all through the night. It was one of the happiest occasions of the entire Jewish year. [Note: Shepard, p352; Edersheim, 2:165-66.]

"Now the brilliant candelabra were lit only at the beginning of the Feast of Tabernacles; there is dispute as to the number of nights on which the illumination took place, but none as to the fact that at the close of the feast it did not. In the absence of the lights Jesus" claim to the Light would stand out the more impressively." [Note: Morris, p388.]

By the way, in chapters6 , 7 , and8 Jesus claimed that He fulfilled wilderness types of God: manna, water, and light.

". . . the Pharisees could not have mistaken the Messianic meaning in the words of Jesus, in their reference to the past festivity: "I am the Light of the world."" [Note: Edersheim, 2:166.]


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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-8.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 8:12. Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world. The last thirteen verses (chap. John 7:49-52) have been occupied with an account of the impression made by our Lord’s words of promise (chap. John 7:37-38). This verse really follows chap. John 7:38, containing a second manifestation of Jesus, in a form and manner still connected with the feast which had just ended. As the pouring out of the water had furnished occasion for the promise of the living water, so the imagery of this verse was probably suggested by the illumination of the temple-courts on the evenings of the festival. This illumination proceeded from four great candelabra erected in the court of the women, and of its brilliancy the Rabbis speak in the highest strains. It formed indeed so marked a feature of the week’s rejoicings, that no one can be surprised to find a reference to it in our Lord’s words. Like the water poured on the altar, the light may well have had a twofold symbolism, commemorating the mighty guidance of Israel by the pillar of fire, and also prefiguring the light which was to spring up in the times of Messiah (Isaiah 9:2; Isaiah 13:6, etc.). What the pillar of fire had been to Israel in the wilderness, that would Messiah be to His people in the latter days.

He that followeth me shall in no wise walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life. The words ‘he that followeth me’ are in all probability closely connected with the figure of the first clause of the verse. Around is ‘the darkness’ of night: only where the pillar of fire moves light shines on all that follow its course,—on all, not on Israel only, for Jesus is ‘the light of the world.’ The language of both promises is free from every limitation save that which is expressed in ‘coming to’ Him, ‘believing in’ Him (chap. John 7:37-38), and ‘following’ Him. The special condition mentioned in this verse (when we pass from the associations of the original figure to the practical application of the words) brings out the idea of discipleship and imitation. This includes coming and ‘believing.’ No true disciple shall walk in the darkness, but shall have as his own inward possession (comp. chap. John 7:38) the light of life,—the light which life gives. Living in Christ, he shall have the light of Christ (see chap. John 1:4). Darkness bears with it the ideas of ignorance, danger, and sin: light implies knowledge, guidance, safety, and holy purity (chap. John 12:35; 1 Thessalonians 5:4; 1 John 1:5, etc.).


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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-8.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 8:12. πάλιν οὖν. “Again therefore Jesus spake to them”; “again” refers us back to John 7:37. Lücke and others suppose that the conversation now reported took place on some day after the feast: but there is no reason why it should not have been on the same day as that recorded in chap. 7. The place, as we read in John 8:20, was ἐν τῷ γαζοφυλακίῳ, “in the Treasury,” which probably was identical with the colonnade round the “Court of the Women,” or γυναικωνίς, “in which the receptacles for charitable contributions, the so-called Shopharoth or ‘trumpets,’ were placed” (Edersheim, Life of Christ, ii. 165). Edersheim supposes that here the Pharisees would alone venture to speak. This seems scarcely consistent with the narrative. The announcement made by Jesus was, ἐγώ εἰμι τὸ φῶς τοῦ κόσμου. Notwithstanding Meyer and Holtzmann it seems not unlikely that this utterance was prompted by the symbolism of the feast. According to the Talmud, on every night of the feast the Court of the Women was brilliantly illuminated, and the night, according to Wetstein and others, was spent in dancing and festivity. This brilliant lighting was perhaps a memorial of the Pillar of Fire which led the Israelites while dwelling in tents. This idea is favoured by the words which follow and which describe how the individual is to enjoy the light inherent in Jesus: ἀκολουθῶν ἐμοί, “he that follows me”. Like the basket of fire hung from a pole at the tent of the chief, the pillar of fire marked the camping ground and every movement of the host. And those who believe in Christ have not a chart but a guide; not a map in which they can pick out their own route, but a light going on before, which they must implicitly follow. Thus οὐ μὴ περιπατήσει ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ, “shall not walk in the dark”; cf. Matthew 4:16. The Messiah was expected to scatter the darkness of the Gentiles, “Lux est nomen Messiae” (Lightfoot), ἀλλʼ ἕξει τὸ φῶς τῆς ζωῆς, but shall have light sufficient for the highest form of life. The analogous ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς, τὸ ὕδωρ τ. ζ. show that the light of life means the light which is needful to maintain spiritual life.


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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 8:12". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-8.html. 1897-1910.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

John 8:12. Then spake Jesus again — Addressing himself to his disciples and the multitude; I am the light of the world — It was with singular propriety that our Lord spake thus, after the wonderful display which he had just made, by the above-mentioned remarkable decision, of his wisdom and knowledge, as well as of his power and goodness. He probably alluded to Malachi 4:2, where the Messiah is foretold under the name of the Sun of righteousness; or to the bright shining of the sun that morning. As if he had said, I am the spiritual Sun, that dispels the darkness of ignorance and superstition, with which the minds of men are overcast; for by my doctrine and example I show clearly everywhere the will of God and the way of salvation: and I never leave those in darkness who walk by my light, as the sun leaves travellers when he sets, and occasions the darkness of the night. For he that followeth me — That adheres to, and continues to learn of me; that imitates my example, and governs himself by the dictates of my word and Spirit; shall not walk in darkness — In ignorance or error, sin or misery; but shall have the light of life — He that closely, humbly, steadily follows me, shall have the divine light continually shining upon him, diffusing over his soul knowledge, holiness, and joy, till he is guided by it to life everlasting.


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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on John 8:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/john-8.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Then = Therefore.

again. This section has no necessary connection with John 7:62, but refers to a subsequent occasion in "the Treasury" (John 8:20).

I am. See note on John 6:35,

light. Greek. phos (App-130.) Not luchnos as in John 5:36 (App-130.) One of the characteristic words of this Gospel. See note on John 1:4.

world. App-129. See note on John 1:9. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of the Subject), App-6, for its inhabitants without distinction, implying others than Jews.

not = in no wise. Greek. ou me. App-105.

shall have = not merely see it, but possess it.

life = the life. App-170. See note on John 1:4.


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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 8:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-8.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world. As the former references to water (John 4:10; John 4:13-14; and John 7:37, etc.) and to bread (John 6:27, etc.) were occasioned by outward occurrences, so possibly may this reference to light have been. For, in "the treasury," where it was spoken (see John 8:20), stood two colossal golden lampstands, on which hung a multitude of lamps, lighted after the evening sacrifice (probably every evening) during the feast of Tabernacles, diffusing their brilliancy, it is said, over all the city. Around these the people danced with great rejoicing. Now, as amidst the festivities of the water from Siloam, Jesus cried, saying, "If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink," so now, amidst the blaze and joyousness of this illumination, He proclaims, "I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD" - plainly in the most absolute sense. For though He gives His disciples the same title (see the note at John 5:14), they are only "light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8); and though He calls the Baptist "the burning and shining light" (or 'lamp' of his day-see the note at John 5:35), yet "he was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light: That was THE TRUE LIGHT which, coming into the world, lighteth every man" (John 1:8-9). Under this magnificent title Messiah was promised of old, Isaiah 42:6; Malachi 4:2, etc.

He that followeth me - as one does a light going before him, and as the Israelites did the pillar of bright cloud in the wilderness,

Shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life - the light as of a new world, the light of a newly awakened spiritual and eternal life.


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-8.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

I am the light of the world. See notes on Matthew 5:14; John 1:7-10.


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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-8.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

[(2) JESUS IS TRUTH, LIGHT, AND LOVE (cont).

(b) Jesus is Light (John 8:12 to John 9:41).

( α) He declares Himself to be the Light, and appeals to the witness of the Father and of Himself (John 8:12-20).]

(12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world.—Omitting the inserted section, this verse immediately follows John 7:52, but the words mark an interval, after which the discourse is resumed. Jesus had ceased to speak, but now speaks “again”; and St. John remembers that the words were suggested by some incident which occurred. It was “then,” or therefore, that He found occasion to utter this truth, because the outer form in which He may clothe it was present to their minds. Once again we shall find this mould, in which the truth shapes itself, in the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles. On the eve of the Lesser Festival (see Note on John 7:14), and on each of the five nights which followed, there was an illumination in the court of the Temple to celebrate the “Rejoicing of the Water-Drawing.” Four large golden candelabra shed their light through the whole city. Then there was dancing and singing, and the music of instruments, which was continued through the night, until at daybreak the procession to the Pool of Siloam was formed. Once again, too, the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles is a memorial of the wilderness life. As the water-drawing was bound up with thoughts of the water given in abundance to those dying of thirst, so this illumination was bound up with thoughts of the pillar of fire which was the guide of those who walked in darkness. And in this case, as in that, it is probably the absence of the incident on the last day of the feast which gives special force to our Lord’s words. Since the teaching of the last chapter, there had been an interval of, it may be, several hours. We may naturally think that the shades of evening were now drawing on. He is standing in the Treasury near to the court of the women (Note on John 8:20), where for the six nights last past there had been a great light, reminding those who could read its meaning of the greater light which illumined the footsteps of their fathers. On this night the light is not to shine; but the true Light, which was ever in the world, is now in His own Temple, speaking the words of light and life to His own people. There is a Light there whose rays are to illumine, not only the Temple, or Jerusalem, or Judæa, or the Dispersion, but the world.

He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.—Strong and full of hope as these words are in the English rendering, the Greek is more emphatic still. The negative is in its strongest form, expressing “shall by no means,” “shall in no wise,” “walk in darkness.” The possibility is excluded from the thought. “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” If a man makes a false step in life, it is because he seeks other guides in his own thoughts or in subjection to the thoughts of other men. He that seeks to follow the true Light—to follow, not precede it; to follow always, not only when it coincides with his own will; to follow patiently and trustfully, step by step, wherever it may lead—cannot walk in darkness, for he is never without the presence of the Light. Here, as so often, stress is laid on the certainty and universality of the divine love on the one side, and the action of the human will on the other. There can be no doubt, “shall by no means walk in darkness”; there can be no limit, “he that followeth”; there can be no halting, “he that followeth.” The light ever points the way; it is he who day by day follows it who cannot miss the way. Perception of truth attends its practice. The true journey of this life is here presented as a constant activity; in John 7:37, the source of this action is found in a constant receptivity.

But shall have the light of life.—For the thought of “light” and “life” in contrast to “darkness” and “death,” comp. Note on John 1:5. The sense of the present passage is that he who follows Christ, not only has a light which guides his feet, but that through participation in the Messianic life he actually possesses that light in himself. He is no more dead, but has eternal life. (Comp. John 3:15.) He no more abides in darkness (John 12:46), but the Light which lighteneth every man abideth in him.

This verse is one of the many instances in which our familiar knowledge of the words of Jesus, in some degree, takes from the impression they would leave on us if we heard them for the first time. There is in them the calm assertion of conscious divinity, which in its very simplicity carries its own proof. It needed no formal proof, for He Himself knows it to be true; it needed no formal proof, for those who heard Him felt His words to be divine—“Never man spake like this Man.” “He taught them as One having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Comp. John 8:28.) The witness to the existence of natural light is the eye formed to receive its rays; the witness to the existence of the Light of the world is the eye of the spirit conscious of a night of darkness, which has passed into the brightness of the presence of the Sun of Righteousness.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 8:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-8.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
I am
1:4-9; 3:19; 9:5; 12:35; Isaiah 9:2; 42:6,7; 49:6; 60:1-3; Hosea 6:3; Malachi 4:2; Matthew 4:14-16; Luke 1:78,79; 2:32; Acts 13:47; 26:23
shall not
12:35,46; Psalms 18:28; 97:11; Isaiah 50:10; 2 Peter 2:4,17; Jude 1:6,13
shall have
7:17; 14:6; Job 33:28; Psalms 49:19; Revelation 21:24

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 8:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-8.html.


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