The scripture for today, August 12 (8/12), is John 8:12 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“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 had only about six months left to live. He knew the religious leaders were after his life out of jealousy. Before going to Jerusalem, he told his brothers, “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me” (John 7:7). Knowing people were wanting to kill him, he slipped into Jerusalem after everyone else got there (John 7:10, 14). Then suddenly he appeared in the middle of the Temple complex ~ the size of many football fields. He knew he was safe as long as there was a crowd.
Jesus answered some private questions, and then “he cried out, ‘You know me! You know where I am from!’ ” (John 7:28). They knew he was born in Bethlehem as predicted. Still, they denied it.
Every day of this feast, a priest would ceremonially pour out some water to represent the water that poured out of the rock when the Jews wandered in the wilderness. But on the last day, the priest did not do this, for it represented their ancestors finally arriving in the Promised Land. It was on this last day of the feast that Jesus “stood and said in a loud voice… ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him!’ ” (John 7:38f)
First thing the next morning at dawn he returned to the Temple court. Maybe it was a beautiful sunrise. When the sun was up and the crowds returned, he shouted something else to everyone, “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12).
He had compared himself to the water ceremony of the day before, and now he was comparing himself to the new dawn. There he was. God the Son crying out to humanity. Come to me! I am doing everything I can to help you! Won’t you come? Please listen to me! Please come! I can save you from hell!!!
Such stubborn love.
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