John 8:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

New Living Translation
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

English Standard Version
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.”

Berean Study Bible
Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. The one following Me shall not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

New American Standard Bible
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."

King James Bible
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Jesus spoke to them again: "I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life."

International Standard Version
Later on, Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

NET Bible
Then Jesus spoke out again, "I am the light of the world. The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

New Heart English Bible
Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Yeshua spoke again with them and he said: “I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Light of the world. Whoever follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall find the light of life.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus spoke to the Pharisees again. He said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will have a life filled with light and will never live in the dark."

New American Standard 1977
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, I AM the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.

King James 2000 Bible
Then spoke Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

American King James Version
Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

American Standard Version
Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Again therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying: I am the light of the world: he that followeth me, walketh not in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Darby Bible Translation
Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

English Revised Version
Again therefore Jesus spake unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then Jesus spoke again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Weymouth New Testament
Once more Jesus addressed them. "I am the Light of the world," He said; "the man who follows me shall certainly not walk in the dark, but shall have the light of Life."

World English Bible
Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life."

Young's Literal Translation
Again, therefore, Jesus spake to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world; he who is following me shall not walk in the darkness, but he shall have the light of the life.'
Study Bible
Jesus the Light of the World
11“No one, Lord.” she answered. “Neither do I condemn you.” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more.” 12Once again, Jesus spoke to the people and said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not valid.”…
Cross References
Matthew 5:14
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

John 1:4
In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.

John 3:19
And this is the verdict: The Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness more than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 9:5
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."

John 12:35
So Jesus told them, "For a little while longer, the Light will be among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.

John 12:36
While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of light." After Jesus had spoken these things, He went away and hid Himself from them.

John 12:46
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Me should remain in darkness.

1 John 1:6
If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
Treasury of Scripture

Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

I am.

John 1:4-9 In him was life; and the life was the light of men…

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, …

John 9:5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

John 12:35 Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you. …

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they …

Isaiah 42:6,7 I the LORD have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, …

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to …

Isaiah 60:1-3 Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the LORD is …

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth …

Malachi 4:2 But to you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise …

Matthew 4:14-16 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying…

Luke 1:78,79 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on …

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Acts 13:47 For so has the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set you to be a …

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should …

shall not.

John 12:35,46 Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you. …

Psalm 18:28 For you will light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

Psalm 97:11 Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the LORD, that obeys the voice of his …

2 Peter 2:4,17 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down …

Jude 1:6,13 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their …

shall have.

John 7:17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether …

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man …

Job 33:28 He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall …

Psalm 49:19 He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light.

Revelation 21:24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of …

[(2) JESUS IS TRUTH, LIGHT, AND LOVE (cont).

(b)Jesus is Light (John 8:12 to John 9:41).

(?)He declares Himself to be the Light, and appeals to the witness of the Father and of Himself (John 8:12-20).]

(12) Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world.--Omitting the inserted section, this verse immediately follows John 7:52, but the words mark an interval, after which the discourse is resumed. Jesus had ceased to speak, but now speaks "again"; and St. John remembers that the words were suggested by some incident which occurred. It was "then," or therefore, that He found occasion to utter this truth, because the outer form in which He may clothe it was present to their minds. Once again we shall find this mould, in which the truth shapes itself, in the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles. On the eve of the Lesser Festival (see Note on John 7:14), and on each of the five nights which followed, there was an illumination in the court of the Temple to celebrate the "Rejoicing of the Water-Drawing." Four large golden candelabra shed their light through the whole city. Then there was dancing and singing, and the music of instruments, which was continued through the night, until at daybreak the procession to the Pool of Siloam was formed. Once again, too, the ritual of the Feast of Tabernacles is a memorial of the wilderness life. As the water-drawing was bound up with thoughts of the water given in abundance to those dying of thirst, so this illumination was bound up with thoughts of the pillar of fire which was the guide of those who walked in darkness. And in this case, as in that, it is probably the absence of the incident on the last day of the feast which gives special force to our Lord's words. Since the teaching of the last chapter, there had been an interval of, it may be, several hours. We may naturally think that the shades of evening were now drawing on. He is standing in the Treasury near to the court of the women (Note on John 8:20), where for the six nights last past there had been a great light, reminding those who could read its meaning of the greater light which illumined the footsteps of their fathers. On this night the light is not to shine; but the true Light, which was ever in the world, is now in His own Temple, speaking the words of light and life to His own people. There is a Light there whose rays are to illumine, not only the Temple, or Jerusalem, or Juda, or the Dispersion, but the world.

He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness.--Strong and full of hope as these words are in the English rendering, the Greek is more emphatic still. The negative is in its strongest form, expressing "shall by no means," "shall in no wise," "walk in darkness." The possibility is excluded from the thought. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." If a man makes a false step in life, it is because he seeks other guides in his own thoughts or in subjection to the thoughts of other men. He that seeks to follow the true Light--to follow, not precede it; to follow always, not only when it coincides with his own will; to follow patiently and trustfully, step by step, wherever it may lead--cannot walk in darkness, for he is never without the presence of the Light. Here, as so often, stress is laid on the certainty and universality of the divine love on the one side, and the action of the human will on the other. There can be no doubt, "shall by no means walk in darkness"; there can be no limit, "he that followeth"; there can be no halting, "he that followeth." The light ever points the way; it is he who day by day follows it who cannot miss the way. Perception of truth attends its practice. The true journey of this life is here presented as a constant activity; in John 7:37, the source of this action is found in a constant receptivity.

But shall have the light of life.--For the thought of "light" and "life" in contrast to "darkness" and "death," comp. Note on John 1:5. The sense of the present passage is that he who follows Christ, not only has a light which guides his feet, but that through participation in the Messianic life he actually possesses that light in himself. He is no more dead, but has eternal life. (Comp. John 3:15.) He no more abides in darkness (John 12:46), but the Light which lighteneth every man abideth in him.

This verse is one of the many instances in which our familiar knowledge of the words of Jesus, in some degree, takes from the impression they would leave on us if we heard them for the first time. There is in them the calm assertion of conscious divinity, which in its very simplicity carries its own proof. It needed no formal proof, for He Himself knows it to be true; it needed no formal proof, for those who heard Him felt His words to be divine--"Never man spake like this Man." "He taught them as One having authority, and not as the scribes." (Comp. John 8:28.) The witness to the existence of natural light is the eye formed to receive its rays; the witness to the existence of the Light of the world is the eye of the spirit conscious of a night of darkness, which has passed into the brightness of the presence of the Sun of Righteousness.

Verse 12-ch. 9:41-43. - Christ the Light of the world, with consequent discussions. Verse 12. -

(1) The solemn and formal assertion. If the passage we have just reviewed were an integral portion of the Gospel, and in its right place, the reference to the breaking of the morning, the first eye of the sun over the purple hills suddenly transforming their dark outline into the aspect of semitransparent jewellery, and their misty hollows into luminous folds of light, would be the obvious meaning or reason of the new imagery which he adopted: "I am the Light of the world." If, however, the entire pericope is not in its correct place, we must link vers. 12-20 with the discourses of the previous chapter. On the great day of the feast, in obvious allusion to the mystic drawing of water in Siloam, and transference of it to the temple court, Jesus had said, "If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink." Many critics imagine that now he refers to the habit, on the first evening of the Feast of Tabernacles, and probably, though not surely, on the other evenings, of kindling the golden candelabra in the court of the women, giving the signal for a brilliant illumination which was visible over the city and surrounding hills. As the water was a symbolic memorial of the smiting of the rock, so the sudden blaze in the temple court was a similar reminder of the fiery pillar in the wilderness, and commentators have found in such ceremonial and memories an occasion for our Lord's words. Surely they go much deeper, and have a wider signification. The creation of light by the Word of the Lord, and St. John's own statement in the prologue that in the Logos was life, and the Life was the light, and the Light shone into the darkness before the Incarnation, is a more adequate interpretation. "The Word was made flesh," and this was the grand occasion for the revelation of the glory of God. "We beheld his glory," says the apostle, "that of an only begotten Son of the Father." The gospel narrative supplies the material which induced the evangelist to preface it with imposing words. The life of men produced by him who is Life lightens the world with its glory. He is the Light of the world, because he is the Source of its life. This inversion of the sequences belonging to modern science and even to Mosaic cosmogony, partly shows what is meant by "Light," and the Light of life. Life in the Johannine thought is Divine blessedness, the very essence of Divine activity and essential being. The Father hath it in himself, and he has given to the Son to be similarly self-complete. He can confer this life on others, communicating his own perfection to some of the creatures of his hand, even bestowing upon them some of the essential elements of his own being. There are varied emanations and forth-puttings of this life - vegetable, animal, psychical, spiritual - and in each case the life becomes a luminous source of direction, a self-revelatory force, a light. The highest Life of all is the brightest Light - the true Lamp of all our seeing (see ch. John 1:9 and John 11:9, 10). Jesus said, "I am the Light of the world," illuminating its darkness far more impressively than temple fireworks, or even pillars of radiant cloud, nay, more than the sunbeams themselves; and that because he was the Holder and Giver of life. Again therefore Jesus spake to them, saying, I am the Light of the world. The "again" may point back to the discourses of the previous chapter, or to the disturbance of the audience and the teaching of that early morning. If it were the morning of the departure of thousands from the holy city, peculiar appropriateness is felt in the continuation: He that followeth me shall not (by any means) walk in the darkness - shall not start off along the defiles of his pilgrimage in the murk of the night and the heavy hiding mists, but he shall, in my companionship, have the light of life. My follower will see his way. Those who have entered into living fellowship with the living One awake from all death slumber and darkness, "walk in the light, as he is in the light;" "become light in the Lord;" "being made manifest are light;" being with the Lord become φωστήρες, torch bearers to the rest; and, more than all (Matthew 5:14), are themselves "the light of the world." The Messiah had been anticipated as "Light," as the Light of Gentiles as well as Jews (Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Malachi 4:2; cf. Luke 2:32, where Simeon had caught the spirit of the ancient prophets). Edersheim (quoting 'Bemidb. R.,' 3 and 15, and 'Yalkut on Isaiah 60): "The rabbis speak of the original light in which God had wrapped himself as in a garment, which was so brilliant that it could not shine by day because it would have dimmed the light of the sun. From this light that of sun, moon, and stars had been kindled. It was now reserved under the throne of God for the Messiah, in whose days it would shine once more." (The Logos was, in the language of Philo, the Archetype and the Outflow of the light.) But the entire meaning of the manifestation of the Divine life in the Messiah is the diffusion of it in others. All Christ's teaching about himself has this practical and ethical bearing. The ἕξει - "will have," "will be in possession of," light - harmonizes with all the wonderful teaching which blends the Christ and his followers in one entity, "I in them, they in me," of ch. 15, 17; and Paul's "Christ formed in you," "Christ liveth in me" (Colossians 1:27; Galatians 1:20). "Light," says Augustine, "reveals other things and its own very self, opens healthy eyes, and is its own witness." Then spake Jesus again unto them,.... Syriac fragment of Bishop Usher's, published by De Dieu, prefaces this verse thus, "when they were gathered together", Jesus said, &c. that is, the Scribes and Pharisees, who went out and returned again; or some others of them, who came after this, to whom Christ addressed himself thus:

I am the light of the world; which he might say, on occasion of the rising sun, which was now up, and might shine brightly in their faces; see John 8:2; which is , "the light of the world", as Aben Ezra in Psalm 19:8 rightly calls it: thus on occasion of the water in Jacob's well, he discoursed of living water; and upon the Jews at Capernaum mentioning the manna, he treated at large concerning himself as the bread of life: and he might also make use of this character, and apply it to himself, with a view to some passages in the Old Testament, which speak of him under the metaphor of the sun, as Psalm 84:11, and represent him as the light; and the Jews (t) themselves say, that light is one of the names of the Messiah; and God himself is called by them, the light of the world (u): and likewise he may have regard to those pompous titles and characters, which the Jewish doctors assumed arrogantly to themselves, and oppose himself to them; for they not only called Moses their master, , "the light of the world" (w), and also the law of Moses (x), but their Rabbins and doctors; See Gill on Matthew 5:14. By the world here is meant, not the whole world, and all the individuals of it; for though Christ, as the Creator of all things, is the light of men, and does lighten every individual man with the light of nature and reason, yet not in a spiritual and saving manner, as is here intended; nor the whole body of the elect of God, though they are sometimes called the world, being the better part of it, and are made light in the Lord, in a special sense; nor the Jews only, and the chosen of God, among them, though Christ was a great light to many of them, that sat in darkness, and in the shadow of death; but the Gentiles are here designed, who were usually called by the Jews, the world; See Gill on John 3:16. And these were in gross darkness before the coming of Christ, about the Divine Being, concerning the object, nature, and manner of worship; the Scriptures, the law, and Gospel; the Messiah, and his office and work; the Spirit of God, and his operations of grace; the resurrection of the dead, and a future state; now Christ came to be a light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel: our Lord seems to have respect to the prophecy of him, in Isaiah 42:6, as well as alludes to the sun in the firmament; whose light is diffused to all the nations of the earth, and not confined to one spot of land only: but since Christ was the minister of the circumcision, and was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, it may be asked, how could he be the light of the Gentiles? to which it may be replied, that he was so by his apostles, who were sent by him with the light of the Gospel, into all the world; and by his Spirit, who enlightens the minds of men, who were darkness itself, with the light of Christ: for he is not only the author and giver of the light of nature to all men, but also of the light of grace to all his chosen ones, Gentiles as well as Jews; who, in his light, see light; see themselves lost and undone, and him to be the only willing, able, suitable, and complete Saviour; and behold wondrous things in the doctrines of the Gospel, and have some glimpse of glory; and he is likewise the author of all the light of glory the saints enjoy in the other world; the Lamb is the light of that state; he is their everlasting light, and their glory; and happy are they who are his followers now:

he that followeth me; not corporeally, but spiritually, by faith; for as believing is expressed by coming to Christ, so by following after him: compare with this, John 12:46; and with love and affection to him, the desires of the soul being unto him, and to the remembrance of him; and in the exercise of every grace and discharge of every duty, in imitation of him; and through a variety of sufferings and tribulations, pressing after him as the guide, captain, and forerunner: and such

shall not walk in darkness; in the darkness of unregeneracy, not knowing what they are, and where they are, and whither they are going; for such know they are in the light; and though they were blind, now they see; they know in whom they have believed, and that they are in Christ, in the covenant of grace, and in the love of God, and are going to heaven and eternal happiness; such shall not walk in the darkness of unbelief; but walk by faith on Christ; nor in the darkness of error, but in the truth of the Gospel, and as becomes it; and though they may sometimes walk without the light of God's countenance, yet light shall arise to them; and such "shall not go into darkness", as the Ethiopic version renders the words, into outer darkness, or the darkness of eternal death:

but shall have the light of life; the grace of God abiding in them now; which as it is a well of living water, springing up to eternal life, so it is a shining light, which increases to the perfect day: as darkness and death, so light and life go together; grace, which is enlightening, is also quickening and comforting, and issues in eternal light and life; a light that will never be extinguished, and a life that will continue for ever, with never fading joys and pleasures; see Job 33:30.

(t) Bereshit Rabba, fol. 1. 3. Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 2. & Jarchi in Psal xliii. 3.((u) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 217. 2.((w) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 114. 3.((x) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 4. 1.Joh 8:12-59. Further Discourses of Jesus—Attempt to Stone Him.

12. I am the light of the world—As the former references to water (Joh 4:13, 14; 7:37-39) and to bread (Joh 6:35) were occasioned by outward occurrences, so this one to light. In "the treasury" where it was spoken (see on [1804]Joh 8:20) stood two colossal golden lamp-stands, on which hung a multitude of lamps, lighted after the evening sacrifice (probably every evening during the feast of tabernacles), diffusing their brilliancy, it is said, over all the city. Around these the people danced with great rejoicing. Now, as amidst the festivities of the water from Siloam Jesus cried, saying, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink," so now amidst the blaze and the joyousness of this illumination, He proclaims, "I AM THE Light of the world"—plainly in the most absolute sense. For though He gives His disciples the same title, they are only "light in the Lord" (Eph 5:8); and though He calls the Baptist "the burning and shining light" (or "lamp" of his day, Joh 5:35), yet "he was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light: that was THE TRUE Light which, coming into the world, lighteth every man" (Joh 1:8, 9). Under this magnificent title Messiah was promised of old (Isa 42:6; Mal 4:2, etc.).

he that followeth me—as one does a light going before him, and as the Israelites did the pillar of bright cloud in the wilderness.

but shall have the light of life—the light, as of a new world, a newly awakened spiritual and eternal life.8:12-16 Christ is the Light of the world. God is light, and Christ is the image of the invisible God. One sun enlightens the whole world; so does one Christ, and there needs no more. What a dark dungeon would the world be without the sun! So would it be without Jesus, by whom light came into the world. Those who follow Christ shall not walk in darkness. They shall not be left without the truths which are necessary to keep them from destroying error, and the directions in the way of duty, necessary to keep them from condemning sin.
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