Humble Hero


“The Light of Life”

This chapter is based on John 8:12-59; 9.

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” HH 216.1

It was morning. The sun had just risen above the Mount of Olives, and its rays fell with dazzling brightness on the marble palaces and lighted up the gold of the temple walls when Jesus pointed to it and said, “I am the light of the world.” Long afterward the apostle John re-echoed these words in that sublime passage, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. ... That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:4, 5, 9. God is light, and in the words, “I am the light of the world,” Christ declared His oneness with God and His relation to the whole human family. It was He who had caused the “light to shine out of darkness” at the beginning. 2 Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun, moon, and stars. As the sunbeams penetrate to the farthest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine on every person. HH 216.2

“That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” People of giant intellect and wonderful research, whose words have opened vast fields of knowledge, have been honored as benefactors of the human race. But One stands higher than all of them. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God. ... No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” John 1:12, 18. We can trace the line of the world’s great teachers as far back as human records extend, but the Light was before them. As the moon and the planets of the solar system reflect the light of the sun, so (as far as their teaching is true) do the world’s great thinkers reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness. The true “higher education” is what Jesus gives, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” HH 216.3

When Jesus said, “I am the light of the world,” the people could not fail to recognize His claim to be the Messiah, the Promised One. To the Pharisees and rulers this claim seemed arrogant. They could not tolerate that a mere Man like themselves would make such bold claims. They demanded, “Who are You?” They were determined to force Him to declare that He was the Christ. His sly enemies believed that His appearance and work were so different from the people’s expectations that a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause them to reject Him as an impostor. HH 216.4

But Jesus replied, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning.” He was the embodiment of the truths He taught. “I do nothing on my own,” He continued, “but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me.” NRSV. He did not attempt to prove His Messianic claim but showed His unity with God. HH 217.1

Many of His hearers were drawn to Him in faith. To them He said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” HH 217.2

These words offended the Pharisees. “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free?’” Jesus looked on these men, slaves of hatred, and sadly answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” They were in the worst kind of slavery—ruled by the spirit of evil. HH 217.3

All who refuse to give themselves to God are under the control of another power. They are in the deepest slavery, their minds under the control of Satan. Christ came to break the chains of sin-slavery from the heart and mind. “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” HH 217.4

In the work of redemption there is no forced obedience. We are left free to choose whom we will serve. When we surrender to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. Expelling sin is the act of the soul itself. When we desire to be set free from sin, and we cry out for a power outside of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul receive the energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the instructions of the will to fulfill the will of God. HH 217.5

The only condition on which our freedom is possible is that we must become one with Christ. Sin can triumph only by destroying the liberty of the soul. Submitting ourselves to God is what restores to us our very self—restored to our true glory and dignity. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is “the law of liberty.” James 2:12. HH 217.6

The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. The true children would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth that God gave Him. A mere ancestry that goes back to Abraham was of no value. Without possessing the same spirit and doing the same works, they were not his children. HH 217.7