John 8:12-19, NIV

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the
light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in
darkness, but will have the light of life." 13 The Pharisees
challenged him, "Here you are, appearing as your own witness;
your testimony is not valid."

14 Jesus answered, "Even if I testify on my own behalf, my
testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where
I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where
I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment
on no one.

16 "But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not
alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own
Law it is written that the testimony of two men is valid. 18 I am
one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father,
who sent me."

19 They asked him, "Where is your father?" "You do not know
me or my Father," Jesus replied. "If you knew me, you would
know my Father also."

July 19, 2011
Jesus wanted to talk about walking in the light, just as he had
encouraged the woman in the previous text to come out of the dark
and walk in his light. The Pharisees didn't want to hear that. They
preferred the darkness of fear, confrontation, and skepticism. They
didn't want to listen to Jesus and they didn't want anyone else to be
able to hear either.

      Jesus! Why should we listen to you?

      Because I know where I came from and where I am going. I am
      not alone; I stand with the Father who sent me.

      Ha! Where is your father?

      That you would not know. If you knew me, you would know
      my Father also.

The Pharisees thought Jesus had no credentials and no credible
witness to vouch for his authenticity. According to Jesus, he had the
greatest of all credentials and the commendation of the most high
God of Heaven. The kind of belief John talks about in his Gospel--one
that begins in faith and ends with knowing--will not be experienced
by these Pharisees.

                                                                                More journal entries

September 6, 1983
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus told the crowd, "You are the light of
the world." In this passage he says, "I am the light of the world." It's
easier to think of Jesus as the light because it's not so demanding of
us, only that we follow him if we want to live in the light. We are light
when we live in the Light.

Jesus said if we follow him we will never walk in darkness. I get stuck
on the word "never." We either walk in light or in darkness. Jesus
separates them, it's either one or the other. Just like good fruit on
good trees and bad fruit on bad trees--there's no mixing, there's no
good trees with bad fruit! This kind of talk is idealistic, not realistic, and
most people can't identify with it. I know I choose darkness sometimes.

Jesus is the light; he saves us from the darkness. Light in reference
to following, walking in it. Light as moving, guiding--a journey through life.
Not stationary, inactive, but active, ongoing, and going somewhere.
Going wherever the light goes. The purpose is not to sit and enjoy the
light but to walk and live in it.

The light is a person, so there can be fellowship with the light.

The light of the world--all inclusive. No restrictions or limits, light that
knows no wall, no boundaries, no perimeters.

September 7, 1983
After Jesus made this beautiful and profound statement that is full
of the love of God for his people, the Pharisees showed their colors
with a negative challenge. You testify to yourself; your evidence is
not valid. It was cutting, a low blow; testifying to their own out-of-touch
state with God. Their own blockheadedness, blindness, lostness.
Their own lack of knowledge and experience of God.

I was reading from Jeremiah this morning, "I will give them a heart to
know me." Lord, give me a heart to know you, today, tomorrow,
forever. God, in Jeremiah, always held out hope for his people to repent
and return to him. "Someday they will come to me, and I will heal them."
This was the God that was in Jesus as he spoke to these Pharisees.

September 8, 1983
These words are in the District UMW material: For all that has been,
thanks; for all that shall be, Yes. So beautiful, positive, hopeful and
inspiring. Also inclusive. All means everything. There are things in my
past I'm not happy with. And there are some regrets. But I don't really
have a problem saying, "For all that has been, thanks." These words are
an act of faith in acceptance or surrender to God's greater wisdom and
unfailing love.

Jesus liked to debate and the Gospels always have Jesus getting in the
last word. In this text Jesus is contrasting himself to the Pharisees--he
knows; they don't, they are ignorant when they think they have knowledge.
Even if you are right in part, you are still wrong.

For Jesus the issue was obedience to what he knew, it was not a
question of faith, or what his concept of God was like. This could be a
critical difference between our lives and the human life Jesus lived. He
knew therefore he did not need faith. At what age or point in life did he
know? His mother told him things and that would have required faith on
his part to believe her words. As a child he studied, talked with others
and asked questions. John the Baptist testified to him. When Satan
tempted Jesus in the wilderness, was faith necessary there or did
Jesus already "know"? Did his knowing come as he launched out into
his ministry or did his knowing come even before that?

Somewhere in his life his faith was superseded by knowing and there
were never any doubts after that. That's testimony to the intimate
relationship he had with God. Anyone who gets that close to God, will
experience the same. Do we have the same capacity and potential
for knowing that Jesus had! Faith superseded by knowing; maybe it's
not so supernatural after all! The process is the same, only the
degree of success is different.

Faith is knowing something that you can't know in any other way than
by having faith. We know by faith; how did Jesus know? First by faith,
then by revelation and experience, by walking daily with God, going
where his Father sent him and in tune with the Holy Spirit.

September 9, 1983
Jesus made such fantastic claims, such as, God is the only witness
he needs! That requires spiritual, not human, sight. I make use of
spiritual sight sometimes when I'm alone, then I know I'm not alone--
God is present with me. I don't pray for you to be present with me
because you already are. I pray for you to put it in my heart to love you.
Increase my awareness of you, my knowledge and experience of you.
Such increase comes through communion, through my faithfulness to
disciplines that lead me to you.

September 10, 1983
Help me to understand your word and not miss the message that means
life to me. For the past few months I've been living with the slogan: "For
this I have Jesus." Last night I was asking, "For this I have Jesus to do
what?" What good is Jesus doing in my situation? I stumble and bumble
around just as much with Jesus as without, it seems! So I have Jesus,
now what do I need to be doing, saying, thinking, etc. How do I walk in
the light? What are my sins that prevent light from being present. Our
world seems so dark sometimes.

When the Pharisees asked where this father of yours is, that's like me
asking where the light is. I hear the words, but where is it. Why doesn't
the Gospel work better in all areas of my life and relationships? I want
to apply its truth and reality . . . a ministry of love, of loving. How can one
see their own sins? The Pharisees couldn't see a thing that Jesus was
talking about. Jesus said--You must know me; then you will know the
Father also. I must know Jesus. I am learning, I'm on the way. Don't
stop now. Continue on.

I must know Jesus. Those who believe, obey. Those who follow him,
learn to know him. Believing in the light of the Gospel comes first.
before experiencing it. I do believe. Yesterday while praying I didn't
succumb to doubts. I did believe in you even though the evidence was
not to be seen, humanly speaking. The giving of light is up to God;
receiving it is up to me.

September 11, 1983
My heart is cold; my eyes are dry.
My soul is bound by earth.
Forgive my lack of enthusiasm.
My lack of heart in my devotion. It's not the way I want to be.

It seems my starting point is beneath the sod.
My energy level is extremely low. I don't feel like breaking through.
Your spirit can inspire me.
Let me close my eyes and try to concentrate on God's Holy Spirit,
      the indwelling Christ.

You can't see and know who Jesus is simply by using human sight
      and knowledge.
It is a gift God would like to give to everyone.
God gives, we receive.
There is no unwillingness on God's part.

September 14, 1983
Relatedness to God is nothing casual. It is like being married as Jim
Singer said. It's a lifelong arrangement. How close we get is up to us.
Our sins block the good we could be experiencing.

I have the impression that Jesus liked to teach the people, they listened
and received. The Pharisees interfered, they questioned and refused
to receive. Motives for questions are very important. The disciples
questioned too. John is concerned throughout the Gospel with threats
to Jesus' life. Was he surprised Jesus got out of this encounter unharmed?

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