“For You alone – my soul waits – hushed.” “Open my eyes and ears and heart to Your Voice today, God.” “What do you want to talk to me about, today, Papa?” Today’s Scripture is John 8:12
“I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.” (NIV)
“I am the world’s Light. No one who follows Me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” (MSG)
My husband gave me a new Bible for Christmas. (He also built me a chicken coop – but that is an entirely different blog!) This is a Study Bible that has meanings of Greek and Hebrew words. I used it to study today’s verse in John 8 and it again gave some wonderful insight that I want to share with you. (It is the NASB version)
“I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the light of life.”
The Study Bible explained that the Greek word, “follows” is a present participle, which means that it is a continuous or repeated action. The definitions include: as a road; to be in the same way with; to accompany, especially as a disciple; to go with; to be or become the disciple of anyone as to faith and practice; to follow His teaching.
It noted that “not walk” is an emphatic future negative; indicated by a negative particle “not” which indicates a strong future negative; “DEFINITELY NOT.”
And the meanings for the word “darkness” were dimness; obscuring; the absence of light.
So to plug all of this into the verse ….
“I (Jesus) am the Light of the world. He who follows Me… follows – continuous, repeated following. The time I followed Jesus back in Sunday School or VBS may have been a “first” time that I followed Jesus, but it didn’t just stop there. I have been following Him ever since. In College; on Retreats when I experience a “high” with God; in Marriage; during sermons; but then even during mundane – normal routine kind of days. And I will continue to follow Him for eternity! We are “in the same way” with Jesus; “following” Him as a disciple; “going with” Him; it is a continuous, ongoing, repeated action.
...shall not walk in the darkness… I like this "emphatic future negative" business! As I follow Jesus I can know with confidence that I will DEFINITELY NOT walk in the darkness! I don’t have to ever fear walking in the darkness anymore! It doesn’t say “maybe” or “sort of” or “sometimes” it says DEFINITELY NOT!
Oh what reassurance the Savior – the Light - has given us!
I was trying to think of an application for this in my life. My Aunt Pat is nearing the end of her earthly life. Cancer has returned to her for the third time and now the battle is nearly over. No more chemo. No more radiation. She is bedridden, in much pain, and is in Hospice care. As her struggle came into my mind, I thought that applying our verse today to her situation meant something like: “Aunt Pat is in darkness. She is dying. She needs only to look to the Light – Jesus – and follow Him into eternity.”
Which is mostly true. EXCEPT THE PART ABOUT THE DARKNESS!
God changed my thoughts about this darkness stuff… Aunt Pat is already is a follower of Jesus. She has been following the Light for many years. Jesus says, “He who follows Me shall definitely not walk in the darkness but will have the Light of Life.” So, wouldn’t that mean that dying of cancer does not mean she is in darkness…? NO! She is dying of cancer –but that does not equal darkness. Not with Jesus. DEFINITELY NOT! Even on her death bed, she is flooded with His Light! I cannot imagine how "dark" this illness is. But it does not overpower the Light of the World
Is this what You are saying to me today, Papa? Are You teaching me to stop thinking of my circumstances and problems as “darkness”? Because with You – there is definitely no darkness – no matter how “dark” my circumstances seem?
How about you? We will face horrible circumstances like unemployment, illness, loneliness, financial worry, broken vehicles, death, etc. Could God be teaching us that those circumstances do not equal darkness?
“He who follows Me – the Light of the World - shall not walk in the darkness but shall have the Light of Life.”