Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”
Then the Pharisees said to him, “Because you are testifying about yourself, your testimony isn’t valid.”
Jesus replied, “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, since I know where I came from and where I’m going. You don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. You judge according to human standards, but I judge no one. Even if I do judge, my judgment is truthful, because I’m not alone. My judgments come from me and from the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the witness of two people is true. I am one witness concerning myself, and the Father who sent me is the other.”
They asked him, “Where is your Father?”
Jesus answered, “You don’t know me and you don’t know my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple area known as the treasury. No one arrested him, because his time hadn’t yet come.
“The Light of the world.” When we read that, we’re usually dreamy-eyed thinking about “heaven” and going to be with Jesus, leaving this “dark, ugly world” behind.
What I suggest is that we look at this a little differently. Let’s look at it in light (no pun intended) of the oncoming war with Rome in a little over a generation from Jesus and his contemporaries.
The people of Jesus day were living under Roman and generally fell (more or less) into two types of folks - those who conspired with Rome (usually those in power and position) and those who wanted to revolt (usually those of, what we might call, middle and lower class). Each group were suspicious of the other.
But then Jesus comes along teaching and living a different way. He says that both of those ways of being were “darkness” and that his Way of Living, of being, is Light. Jesus’ claim, then, is that others, too, can walk in Light if they live The Way he lived.
It is only through walking The Way of Jesus that the darkness dwindles in us and the rest of creation.
But rest assured, the darkness does not like the Light. It will seek ways of extinguishing the Light. And, as we see in the story, some of those who walk in darkness are religious people. Make no mistake, they aren’t the only ones.
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC