John 8:12-20 “The Testimony of Jesus the Light of the World”


Introduction: (John 8:12) “Then spake Jesus again unto them,…There has been some discussion as to the validity of the story of the woman taken in adultery recorded in the verses preceding this text.  I currently believe the story to be legitimate and properly placed.  The opening words of verse 12 indicate that Jesus had been interrupted and now begins His discourse again.  In this discourse Jesus testifies as to whom He is and answers the objections of His critics as to the validity of His testimony. 


I. His testimony is that He is the Light of the World.

(John 8:12) … saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.


            There was a common saying among the Jews which goes “O Lord of the universe, you commanded us to light lamps to you, yet you are The Light of The World: and with you the light dwells.”  When Jesus spoke these words He was in effect pronouncing Himself to be God.  The Jews took great offence at this and sought the more to kill Him.

            This phrase means that Jesus is the source of truth for the world.  Adam Clarke well states the meaning when he said “The fountain whence an intellectual light and spiritual understanding proceed: without me all is darkness, misery, and death.”  The world needs this light.  Without this light men will die in their sins and be eternally separated from God in the lake of fire. 

            Not all saved people are followers of Christ.  Some who are saved are described by the apostle Paul as having forgotten that they were purged.  To walk in darkness is to not know or realize the truth.  Children of God who live like the world do not realize how much their behavior displeases God.  God is longsuffering and those walking in darkness think that because they are not chastened that God must approve of their manner of life.  Those who are lost are walking in darkness and will not have life until they come to the light of the world through faith admitting the truth of the guilt of their sin.

            In the Gospel of John, much is said about the light of the world.

(John 1:4)  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

            In this verse we see the light is life giving.  He turns those who are spiritually dead into the spiritually alive.

(John 1:5)  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

(John 1:9)  [That] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

            He offers this life to all who are lost in the darkness of sin but most do not understand nor accept His offer of life.

 (John 3:19)  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

(John 3:20)  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

(John 3:21)  But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 



(John 12:35)  Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. (MEN IN DARKNESS DO NOT KNOW THEY ARE HEADED FOR HELL)



II. The Pharisees objection:  Jesus has no collaborating witness for His testimony.


(John 8:13)  The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

            A person’s testimony could be true even if he had no collaborating witness but it was to be considered or handled as if false.  For example one might witness a murder and be the only witness of that crime and his witness was to be handled as if it were not true.  The Pharisees accuse Jesus of having no other witness but himself and thus they could not accept his testimony as true.  They would have to have a valid witness before they would accept the claim which Jesus was making.  They had raised this question before and Jesus had already answered their objection sufficiently.  As is often the case men forget the things they do not want to hear or believe.  They summarily dismiss impeccable logic and true facts with which they do not agree. 


III. Jesus’ answer to their objection:  He has two VERY VALID witness which agree to His testimony.

            A. Jesus is the first witness and His witness is valid.

(John 8:14)  Jesus 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.

            What about (John 5:31)  If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.

Is there a contradiction here?  The answer is no.  In Chapter five Jesus alludes to the above mentioned law concerning the need for two witnesses.  The witness of one was to be handled as if it were false.  In chapter eight Jesus alludes to the fact that the witness of one can be true if that witness is valid and credible.

            It is true because of who He is.  He knows all things.  Men do not know from where the come and they do not have perfect knowledge of where they are going.  I know that when I die I will go to the paradise of God but I know extremely little about that place.  I do not know were I came from for I have no memory before about the age of three of four years.  Jesus is eternal God and knows exactly where He is from and where He will be going.  He knows the future and men do not.  They have no Idea where Jesus came from nor where He would go after His resurrection.  Jesus has proven His knowledge of everything and has at least two who would testify that He told them things He could not have know if He were not the Christ.


(John 8:15)  Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

            B.  Jesus’ witness is better than that of men.  Men can only see material things they can not see what is in the heart and mind of a man.  Jesus has just told those who departed that the one without sin should cast the first stone.  Jesus could have judged the woman and condemned her but He did not.  He did not come to judge but to save.  These men are judging Jesus based upon what they see physically and their judgment is not true. 


(John 8:16)  And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

            C. Jesus witness is better than men because He is one with the Father.  Jesus knows all things even the thoughts and intents of men’s hearts.


(John 8:17)  It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.


IV. God the Father is the second witness of Jesus’ testimony.


(John 8:18)  I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.


(John 8:19)  Then 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.


V. The power of Jesus testifies of who He is.


(John 8:20)  These 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.

They could not touch Him for they were not allowed by the Father.