Gospel Lesson for the Day – John 8:12-20, 31-36
“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. 13The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. 19Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also. 20These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.” (John 8:12-20; all scripture quoted is from the king James Version)
“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:31-36)
The Light of the World (John 8:12) – Indeed, Christ is the Light which burns when all others fail. The purpose of light is to scatter the darkness. It is a real force which science cannot define but only describe the nature thereof. Darkness has no power whatsoever in the presence of light. It must flee it. According to Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity, the speed of light is the only absolute constant in the natural universe. It travels in a straight line and cannot be seen. Christ, too, is the only absolute constant in the spiritual world. “…I change not.” (Malachi 3:6) He deals in absolute righteousness. The unseen power of God can be felt, described, and known; yet, we cannot define God in His immensity. Christ tells us in Matthew 5:14 that ‘we’ are the light of the world. Is this a contradiction? Certainly not, for we bear the reflected Light of Christ as surely as the moon bears that of the Sun. If we allow the world to come between us and God, we, like the moon, shall suffer an eclipse of darkness. The properties of both light and Christ are so analogous I could write a book on them.
The Father is revealed in the Son (John 8:20) – We cannot know God the Father if we have not known God the Son, for the Son reveals the Will of the Father and bears record of Him. “All roads lead to Rome” is a popular saying. It is certainly not true, but even if all physical roads did lead to Rome, there is only One Way that leads to the Kingdom of God. That road is not the crowded road with the downward spiral that bears so many lost souls; but the straight and narrow highway that leads ever upward to the narrow gate whereon are few souls.
“If ye continue in my word” (John 8:31) – Easy believism never brought a single soul to Heaven’s Gate. We must know Christ intimately, love Him, and we must endeavor to follow Him by taking up our cross daily to follow. Moreover, Christ, not a standing Army, is the Author and Finisher of our Liberty. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (James 1:25) The popular saying that Christ died for our souls and the American soldier for our Liberty is not completely true: Christ died for BOTH!
We be Abraham’s seed (John 8:33) – The Jews believed in a religion based on race – Christ offers the blessing to those who are the spiritual seed of Abraham in Him. (see Romans 4:13-16). They could not have conceived the eighth verse of Romans 9: “….They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:8) Just as Isaac came by the miracle of Promise, so is everyone who owns Christ as Lord – no exceptions!
Whosoever committeth sin (John 8:34) – Sin is a cruel master. Its subjects are most often unaware of their servitude to it. It eats away at the soul, and decays the pillars of conscience. It takes all, and leaves nothing. If we would be free, we must, as the woman taken in adultery, know Christ as our Lord. The freedom and liberty He will give surpasses all understanding because “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”(John 8:36)
Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone during Lent,
† Jerry L. Ogles, D.D.
Presiding Bishop Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
& Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary