John 8:12-30- A Sure Testimony
Explanation- The Lord identifies Himself as the light of the world. This draws our attention back to the first chapter of John which portrays Christ as the light who has come into the world to draw men out of darkness. Darkness is sin, and as we are told elsewhere, men love their sin. They do not naturally gravitate toward that which exposes them for what they really are. Much like a cockroach scatters as light enters the room, so men scatter from the truth that exposes their secret treasure. But for those who follow Christ, who is the light, they shall never walk in darkness again. That is, they will never be without the light of holy conviction which exposes the works of darkness. Christ’s light is synonymous with life. When true, godly conviction sets in it sheds light on our sinful nature. If that were all that conviction produced it would be a miserable existence indeed! But our gracious Lord does not leave us in the place of shame; instead He offers hope in the glorious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ! We now are freed from the burden of sin and can live victoriously in the presence of God through the continual work of sanctification in our lives wrought by the Holy Spirit! As darkness flees, so does our desire for its fruits. We now began to experience pure desire as our minds and wills are conformed to those of the very Christ we serve!
It is also here that Christ again testifies of Himself to this unbelieving generation. This time, the Pharisees deny His testimony because He bears witness of Himself. To them, Christ was a braggadocious, lying, blasphemer, and He must be stopped. Yet, for whatever reason, Christ tarries with them. He reminds them that they indeed do not know the Father, for if they did then they would know that His testimony of Himself rings true because it the very testimony of the Father as well. Christ speaks to these men about His death and resurrection in riddled speech and they do not perceive His words. Their blindness keeps them from understanding the message of the prophets which foretold of the Christ. They have no desire for truth but seek their own self-exaltation and gain. It is for this reason that Christ tells them that they will die in their sins. They do not believe the testimony of God and therefore have called God a liar. This is blasphemy and utter insanity! It is clear that these men will be without excuse on the day of judgement, for they will be held accountable for the knowledge which they had available to them. How sobering is it for them to one day realize that they beheld the very Christ of God and instead of offering praise, they provided a cross.
There is encouragement in this account. In verse 30 we are told that as Christ spoke, many believed. This is the nature of the Gospel; many are called, but few are chosen. Two men can hear the very same message and yet produce drastically different results. The one may ridicule, mock, and walk away having changed none for the better. While the other is pierced to the heart and cries out for the Savior. This only shows that God’s calling and election are sure. We do not know who the Gospel of grace will penetrate next, so we must stand ready, in and out of season, to faithfully preach the word.
Application- Despite all that Christ did during His earthly ministry; despite all of the miracles, healings, teachings, and sacrifices He made, there were still those who turned away. The Gospel was not meant to draw every man unto repentance, but only those who had been chosen by the Father before the foundation of the world. In reality, the Gospel has a 100% efficacy rate. It is successful to every man, woman, and child that it is meant for. There can be no failure in this respect, for if there was it would render God powerless to save. Nothing could be further from the truth! Every time we preach the Gospel it produces its intended result. The seed is sown and it either finds good soil (which has already been prepared) or it is met with stony ground, little soil, or thorns. In any of these cases it accomplishes its mission. The Word of God shall not return void. So, let us find hope and encouragement in our own endeavors to keep pressing on!