John 9:5
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.—Better, when I am in the world. The thought is that the two things necessarily co-exist. He is the true Light, and this true Light cannot be in the world without shining in its darkness. (Comp. Note on John 1:5.) The thought is here closely connected with His teaching in the Temple but a short time before (John 8:12, “I am the Light of the world”), and also with the removal of physical and spiritual darkness which immediately followed.

John 9:5. As long as I am in the world — These words show what our Lord meant by the day mentioned in the preceding verse, namely, the time he should be in the world. So long, says he, I am the light of the world — Teaching men inwardly by my Spirit, and outwardly by my preaching, what is the will of God; and showing them by my example how to perform it. “While he continued on earth he was the light of the world by his personal ministry and miracles; and he would be the same by his doctrine and his Spirit to the end of time.” — Scott. And to teach us how able and willing he is to communicate divine illumination to the souls of men, he often restored sight to such as were corporally blind; and he was about to do it now. For, as Dr. Macknight justly observes, “our Lord’s miracles were designed, not only as proofs of his mission, but to be specimens of the power which he possessed as Messiah. For example, by feeding the multitude with meat that perisheth, he signified that he was come to quicken and nourish mankind with the bread of life, that sovereign cordial and salutary nutriment of the soul. His giving sight to the blind was a lively emblem of the efficacy of his doctrine [when accompanied by his grace] to illuminate the blinded understandings of men. His healing their bodies represented his power to heal their souls, and was a specimen of his authority to forgive sins, as it was a real, though but a partial removal of its punishment. His casting out devils was an earnest of his final victory over Satan and all his associates. His raising particular persons from the dead was the beginning of his triumph over death, and a demonstration of his ability to accomplish a general resurrection. And, to give no more examples, his curing all promiscuously, who applied to him, showed that he was come, not to condemn the world, but to save even the chief of sinners. Accordingly, at performing these miracles, or soon after, when the memory of them was fresh in the minds of his hearers, we often find him turning his discourse to spiritual things that were signified by them, as in the case before us.”9:1-7 Christ cured many who were blind by disease or accident; here he cured one born blind. Thus he showed his power to help in the most desperate cases, and the work of his grace upon the souls of sinners, which gives sight to those blind by nature. This poor man could not see Christ, but Christ saw him. And if we know or apprehend anything of Christ, it is because we were first known of him. Christ says of uncommon calamities, that they are not always to be looked on as special punishments of sin; sometimes they are for the glory of God, and to manifest his works. Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone, Ec 11:4. Christ magnified his power, in making a blind man to see, doing that which one would think more likely to make a seeing man blind. Human reason cannot judge of the Lord's methods; he uses means and instruments that men despise. Those that would be healed by Christ must be ruled by him. He came back from the pool wondering and wondered at; he came seeing. This represents the benefits in attending on ordinances of Christ's appointment; souls go weak, and come away strengthened; go doubting, and come away satisfied; go mourning, and come away rejoicing; go blind, and come away seeing.As long as I am in the world ... - As the sun is the natural light of the world, even while it sinks away to the west, so am I, although my days are drawing to a close, the light of the spiritual world. What a sublime description is this! Jesus occupied the same place, filled the same space, shed his beams as far, in the moral world, as the sun does on natural objects; and as all is dark when that sun sinks to the west, so when he withdraws from the souls of men all is midnight and gloom. When we look on the sun in the firmament or in the west, let us remember that such is the great Sun of Righteousness in regard to our souls; that his shining is as necessary, and his beams as mild and lovely on the soul, as is the shining of the natural sun to illumine the material creation. See the notes at John 1:4. 5. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world—not as if He would cease, after that, to be so; but that He must make full proof of His fidelity while His earthly career lasted by displaying His glory. "As before the raising of Lazarus (Joh 11:25), He announces Himself as the Resurrection and the Life, so now He sets Himself forth as the source of the archetypal spiritual light, of which the natural, now about to be conferred, is only a derivation and symbol" [Alford]. Those words, As long as I am in the world, let us know what our Saviour meant by the day, mentioned John 9:4, viz. the time he should be in the world. Saith he, So long as I am in the world, it is a part of my work to show light to the world. Christ indeed, though he hath left the world, is yet the light of the world; but he was the light of the world, that part of the world especially where he was, in a more eminent sense, so long as the world enjoyed his bodily presence in it. As long as I am in the world,.... Which had been now two or three and thirty years; but was not to be much longer.

I am the light of the world; See Gill on John 8:12. Though doubtless he said this with some view to the cure he was about to perform, it being agreeable to his character and work, while he was in the world.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 9:5. A more precise description of His earthly vocation, characteristically expressed in relation to the sight which was to be bestowed on the blind man. Ὅταν, however, is neither quamdiu (as it usually is) nor quandoquidem (so Lücke and Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 86),—which latter usage is foreign to the N. T., and is only apparently found in passages such as Thuc. 1. 141. 5, 142. 1,—but: When (quando, at the time in which) I am in the world, I am the Light of the world. It expresses the necessary contemporaneity of the two relations. He cannot be in the world, says Christ, without at the same time enlightening the world. Thus, also, did it behove Him to show Himself in the case of this blind man. φῶς is employed, it is true, in a spiritual sense, as in John 1:5 ff., John 8:12, but also with a significant reference to the sight which was to be restored to the blind man. In healing him, that enlightening activity of Jesus by which those who did not see were to be made to see (see John 9:39), is set forth in a transaction which, though primarily sensuous, was also suggestive of spiritual enlightenment (John 9:37 f.). In itself the first clause of the verse

Ὅταν—might have been dispensed with (John 8:22); its utterance, however, in connection with John 9:4, was occasioned by the consciousness that He was soon to depart from the world, and that after His departure the present mode and action of the φῶς εἶναι, which were bound up with His corporeal earthly career, must come to an end. Then Christ would work through the Paraclete and through the vehicles of the Paraclete, as the Light of the world.John 9:5. ὅτανκόσμου. We should have expected ἕως and not ὅταν, and the Vulgate renders “quamdiu”. But the “when” seems to be used to suggest a time when He should not be in the world: “when I am in the world, I am the Light of the World,” as He immediately illustrated by the cure of the blind man.5. As long as I am in the world] Better, Whensoever I am in the world; it is not the same construction as ‘so long as it is day.’ The Light shines at various times and in various degrees, whether the world chooses to be illuminated or not. Comp. John 1:5, John 8:12. Here there is special reference to His giving light both to the man’s eyes and to his soul. The Pharisees prove the truth of the saying that ‘the darkness comprehended it not.’

I am the light of the world] Or, I am light to the world: no article. Contrast John 8:12.John 9:5. Φῶς, the light) An allegory from the object of sight, which He was about to bestow on the blind man. Comp. John 9:3, that they might be made manifest; and ἡμέρα, day, John 9:4 [containing the same metaphor].Verse 5. - While - or, whensoever - I am in the world, I am the Light of the world. He had said (John 8:12), "I am the Light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness." He was sublimely conscious of his power to do for the moral world what the sun was doing for the physical world. He was the Occasion of its life, the Condition of its activity, the means of its instruction, the Source of all its beauty, its joy, and its progress. The ὅταν, which is translated quamdiu in the Vulgate, and "so long as" in the Authorized Version, means strictly "whensoever," and refers to the entire period of his activity (see John 1:5). But while the sun of this world cannot open the eyes of the blind, and wastes his radiance on their sightless sockets, so, unless Christ were more than the sun, and could give the power as well as the opportunity of seeing, he would never have done the work of him that sent him. The fact that he is the Light leads him to remind the disciples that he is the true Source of eyesight as well as of the conditions of vision. Light enough for all the world shines into the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not. This Jewish people are surrounded by floods of light. The spiritual world stands revealed fully to Christ's own gaze. But mankind hates the light, loves darkness on these matters rather than the light. There is a radical fundamental change that must come over men, or they will never see. This evil, this terrible calamity that has befallen man, will vitiate all the provision of mercy. There must be a new beginning, a new birth, a work of God wrought in men, as well as a sublime revelation made to men, or the whole mission of the Christ would be incomplete. As long as (ὅταν)

More correctly, whensoever. Rev., when. Whether in my incarnation, or before my incarnation, or after it. Compare John 1:4, John 1:10.

The light

See on John 8:12. The article is wanting. Westcott says, "Christ is 'light to the world,' as well as 'the one Light of the world.' The character is unchangeable, but the display of the character varies with the occasion."

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