From Heaven With Love


Chapter 51—“The Light of Life”

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

“I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” HLv 313.1

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, pointing to it, said, “I am the light of the world.” These words were long afterward reechoed by the apostle John in that sublime passage, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” “The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.” John 1:4, 5, 9, RSV. 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 at the beginning had caused the “light to shine out of darkness.” 2 Corinthians 4:6. He is the light of sun, moon, and star. As the sunbeams penetrate to the remotest corners of the earth, so does the light of the Sun of Righteousness shine on every soul. HLv 313.2

“That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Men of giant intellect and wonderful research, whose utterances have opened vast fields of knowledge, have been honored as benefactors of their race. But One stands higher than they. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God.” “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath 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 stars 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 that imparted by Him “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Colossians 2:3. “He that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” HLv 313.3

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. That a man like themselves should make such pretensions they could not tolerate. They demanded, “Who art Thou?” They were bent upon forcing Him to declare Himself the Christ. His wily enemies believed that His appearance and work were so at variance with the expectations of the people that a direct announcement of Himself as the Messiah would cause Him to be rejected as an impostor. HLv 314.1

But Jesus replied, “Even what I have told you from the beginning.” RSV. He was the embodiment of the truths He taught. “I do nothing on My own authority,” He continued, “but speak thus as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me.” He did not attempt to prove His Messianic claim, but showed His unity with God. HLv 314.2

Among His hearers many were drawn to Him in faith, and to them He said, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” HLv 314.3

These words offended the Pharisees. “We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ye shall be made free?” Jesus looked on these men, slaves of malice, and sadly answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” They were in the worst kind of bondage—ruled by the spirit of evil. HLv 314.4

Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is in the most abject slavery, his mind under the control of Satan. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” HLv 315.1

In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. Man is left free to choose whom he will serve. When the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. When we desire to be set free from sin, and cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God. HLv 315.2

The only condition on which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. Sin can triumph only by destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one's self—to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is “the law of liberty.” James 2:12. HLv 315.3

The Pharisees had declared themselves the children of Abraham. The true children would not try to kill One who was speaking the truth given Him from God. A mere lineal descent from Abraham was of no value. Without possessing the same spirit and doing the same works, they were not his children. HLv 315.4