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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 67 - John 7:53; John 8:1, 12 - Jesus our Light Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius

Index

LXVII.

 

Jesus Our Light.

 

"And every man went unto his own house."-John 7:53.

 

     "Jesus went unto the mount of Olives...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."-John 8:1, 12.

 

 

     If we group together the scenes of this and the succeeding chapter, we might head them thus,-a day with Jesus; in which we have not merely his answers to the disputing Jews, but his proclamation of love; a night with Jesus on the Mount of Olives; dawn with Jesus in the temple, listening to his early teaching; sunrise with Jesus, as, pointing to the east, He says, I am the light of the world.

     Let us follow, however, another division, which will, perhaps, bring out the truths of the passage more fully, in connection both with man and the Lord; (1.) man at home, Jesus not at home; (2.) man the listener, Jesus the teacher; (3.) man the sinner, Jesus the forgiver; (4.) man the child of darkness, Jesus the light of life.

     I. Man at home, Jesus not at home. "Every man went to his own house; Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives." The crowd which had surrounded Him all the day gradually drops off, one by one, as the evening draws on, and Jesus is left alone. Each one has a home to go to, a roof to shelter him, and retires to rest with his family; Jesus has nowhere to lay his head; they go one way, He goes another; they keep within the city walls, He goes without the gate to Olivet, there to spend the night in prayer. He is not at home; even in the temple, which is his Father's house, He must not stay; its gates are closing, and He is shut out; the temple shuts Him out, the city shuts Him out. He can only go to the places where man is not; to the solitudes where, outside of Jerusalem, outside even of Bethany, He can meet with God. This homelessness of the Son of God was for us. He became homeless that we might have a home,-a home in his Father's house. He went without the gate that we might enter in. He became an exile, taking our place and life of banishment, that we might have an entrance ministered to us into the celestial city, the Paradise of God. Hast thou, O man, availed thyself of this great work, and returned to thy Father's house? Or art thou still an exile from God, though at home on earth?

     II. Man the listener, Jesus the teacher. That to which God calleth us is "listening." "Hear, and your soul shall live ;" "faith cometh by hearing." Christ came to us as the Word,-to speak to us; his very coming was God saying to us, "Now listen to me." Seldom do we find man in this attitude, and hence so little faith; and, when Christ comes the second time, He will find little faith, because few listening. But here we have a group of listeners, and that in the early dawn, gathered round the eternal Word. And He teaches! How willing to teach! How glad to get a listener, an open ear!  How eager is He to pour in all his wisdom; to teach the ignorant; to unteach them the evil and error; to teach them the good and the true!  Are our ears ever open? Are we eager listeners? As ready to hear as He is to speak? Oh how much we lose of happy wisdom, simply from not listening!  Jesus Himself knew what it was to hear the Father, "He wakeneth morning by morning; He wakeneth mine ear to hear as one who is taught." And having thus learned, He comes to teach. Learn of me, He says. The Lord make us willing learners! The Lord give us open ears!

     III. Man the sinner, Christ the forgiver. In the midst of the teaching and the listening a scene occurs; an interruption, yet not truly so; an interruption which only illustrates the character of the teacher. Vile sin has just been discovered, and the culprit is brought in. It is flagrant transgression. How will He deal with it? Will He palliate it, or will He say, Go and stone her. If He does the former, what becomes of his holiness and professed veneration for the law? If the latter, what becomes of his kindness to publicans and sinners. He does neither. And yet He pardons the guilty! How marvelous the grace! How wonderfully He deals with sin and the sinner! He condemns,-nay, He makes his hearers condemn it,-and not only the woman's, but their own; yet He forgives!  He shews them sin in a worse, a wider, a more universal aspect than they dreamed of; yet He also shews that nothing can obstruct his forgiving love. His is pardon to the uttermost. He came to save sinners! Who is there that He is not willing and able to save?

     IV. Man the child of darkness, Christ the light of the world. These are awful words, "children of night," children of darkness,-worse even than the world's phrase, children of the mist. The world is dark,-darkness itself. Each soul is dark. Man's efforts to enlighten himself has only left him darker. But the light has come; the true light now shineth. The Christ has come, and He is the light of the world, the light of the soul, the light of life. In the present case He is pointing to the rising sun and saying, "I (not yon sun) am the light of the world." Till I appear all is night. Then, all is day. C1irist as the revealer of the Father, of his grace and righteousness,-Christ as the possessor and dispenser of the Holy Ghost,-is the light of the world.

     1. Light cheers and gladdens. Thus Jesus gives joy and peace.

     2. Light purifies. Jesus renews, sanctifies, assimilates.

     3. Light quickens. Jesus removes death; imparts life.

     4. Light heals. Jesus heals wounds, diseases; He cures.

     5. Light liberates. Jesus sets us free. No bondage where Jesus is.

     Oh the difference between night and noon, darkness and sunshine!  Have you made the exchange? Will you make it now? He that believeth in me shall not abide in darkness.