Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So the Pharisees said to him, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come. John 8:12-20 (ESV)
The Pharisees had a hard time wrapping their minds around Jesus. They were so concerned with the finer points of the Law that they missed the purpose for the Law and the Scriptures. They were so busy navel gazing and worrying about tithing their mint and spice that they missed the very one who they claimed to be waiting for.
Jesus and His Father (two Persons of the Trinity) both testify to who Jesus is, and the Pharisees couldn’t stand the fact that when Jesus says that He and His Father are one that Jesus is claiming to be the promised Messiah, the Son of God. To the Pharisees, Jesus was a blasphemer of the highest order. The thought that the lowly son of a carpenter that many of them may have known when He was younger, was claiming to be God was purely offensive to them.
As offensive as some may find Jesus, the cross, and the cosmic truth that there is nothing we can do to dig ourselves out of the situation we inherited from our first parents, the fact remains, He is the light of the world. He is the only way to salvation. Nothing came into being apart from Him. Apart from Him there is no light, no life and no truth.
We can be a bit harsh on the Pharisees, but sometimes we miss Jesus too. We fail to see Him in our unforgiveness and hardness of heart. We fail to see Him in the suffering of our neighbors. We fail to see Him beyond the brokenness of our world.
Jesus did not come with glitter and gold and fanfare. Jesus did not come surrounded by conquering armies. He came as a simple human to all outward appearances, but also as God clothed in human flesh. Save by the gift of faith, we cannot see Jesus just as the Pharisees could not see who He really is. The Father must draw us to Jesus. We pray for the eyes to see Him, a mind to know Him, and a heart to love Him.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:19-24 (ESV)