Intro: I like to stay focused on a task until it is done and then move on. That would be Mary’s perfect mode of operation. Check and done! However, there are very few times when that actually happens. Instead, I seem to face a slew of interruptions that require me to stop what I am doing in order to turn my attention and address a new thing. I scramble to designate a stopping place, so I don’t miss something important. Yet, sometimes the something more important is actually what is going on inside of me because of the interruption. Am I talking to you? If so, what we really need in those moments is the Light of the World.
Preceding our passage for today, Jesus is teaching in the temple courts following the Feast of Tabernacles. Suddenly, he is interrupted as the Pharisees drag in a woman caught in the act of adultery. These leaders demand to know what Jesus is going to do about this woman’s guilt; but Jesus knows their judgmental hearts are the bigger issue. So, with great wisdom, Jesus defuses the condemnation of this woman and shines a holy light on the judgmental attitudes and behaviors of the Pharisees.
In our passage today, Jesus goes back to his teaching and chooses to proclaim, “I am the Light of the world” as he stands near the oil-filled and lighted bowls in the temple court (v.12). These huge menorahs are part of the Illumination of the Temple; a celebration that God promised to send a Messiah to shine light on the darkness of sin. Jesus is standing there and the Pharisees miss the whole message. Jesus is proclaiming to be that Light, the Pharisees hate and reject what he says…and more interruptions to Jesus’ teaching ensue.
When we think about Jesus as the Light of the World, we must pay attention to the fact that he reveals [shines the light] on unrighteous things within us that we do not want to face. However, if we are wise, we will not resist the Light he provides in order to protect and guide us. Instead, we should allow Jesus to remove the darkness and shine the Way to God’s plan for our lives.
Interruptions can serve as opportunities for our spiritual growth. Let’s face them with grace.
John 8:12-19 NLT Jesus, the Light of the World
12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
13 The Pharisees replied, “You are making those claims about yourself! Such testimony is not valid.” [void of two witnesses]
14 Jesus told them, “These claims are valid even though I make them about myself. For I know where I came from and where I am going, but you don’t know this about me. 15 You judge me by human standards, but I do not judge anyone. 16 And if I did, my judgment would be correct in every respect because I am not alone. The Father who sent me is with me. 17 Your own law says that if two people agree about something, their witness is accepted as fact. 18 I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”
19 “Where is your father?” they asked.
Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for being my inner Great Light of Truth. Continue to shine the Light and help me address the things that are truly important to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.