“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.’”
Explanation and Commentary of John 8:12
Anyone who struggles to understand the world needs only look to Christ in and by whom all things are illuminated. In Christ all the questions are answered: How did we get here; what’s wrong with the world; how can it be fixed; what is the meaning of life; how should we live? Jesus tells us still today that to look to him is to find answers to all these questions and more.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the Word by whom the whole world was made (Jn 1:3) and that he is the way, the truth, and the life. To refuse to follow him is to continue to walk in some kind of darkness, groping for answers, even if the questions are unexpressed. To follow him is to see what is ahead, immediately, and eternally into the future. Christ shows us that the world was fallen and that God has a plan to save it. He shows us that we ourselves are in need of salvation and that he died on the cross to redeem us and forgive us, reconciling us to the Father. Christ shows us the nature of the holiness and love of God, the wrath for sin combined with the mercy of forgiveness, and justice of God with the forgiveness of God for us.
And this light of life shows how to walk in him until he returns, loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, even loving our enemies. The light shows us how to die to ourselves that we might live true life abundantly in him forever and ever.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 8:12
#1 “When Jesus spoke again to the people,”
The preceding chapters of John show much of the common conversation and teaching between Jesus, his disciples, the crowds who were curious about him, and his usual enemies, the religious establishment who envied his following and rejected his claims. Here he is again discoursing on eternal truths.
#2 “he said, ‘I am the light of the world.”
John began his gospel with this theme and continues to develop it. John 1:4-5 says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” And then in John 1:9 says, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” There is a distinct relationship between light and truth. Jesus would show the reality of what is. He would bring understanding of the Father, his ways, and of the future to those who had eyes to see and ears to hear.
#3 “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
It follows that if one recognizes Jesus as the light of the world and follows him, he or she will always have the light. He promised that he and his salvation would not be taken away from those who come to him. He will not lose any that the Father gives to him (Jn 6:39).
Bible Study on John 8:12
Expert Overview of John Ch. 1-12
Biblical Translations of John 8:12
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.