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John 8:12

John 8:12
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John 8:12, “I am the light of life, the one following me does by no means walk in the darkness, but has the light of life.”

Jesus says that the one who follows Him will have the “light of life.” I’m taking that to mean “the reality-illuminating revelation of who God is, whom to know IS the essence of life.” Jesus says the one who follows Him has this.

So, if we would know God in Christ, we must follow God in Christ…If we would intimately, personally, illuminatingly, savingly KNOW GOD, then we must be with Christ where He is (12:26)….we must follow Him, we must walk as He walked (1 John 2:6). This same idea seems to be expressed in John 14:21: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me…and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

In other words, the one who obeys Christ comes to know Christ…the one who walks as Christ walks is the one to whom Christ manifests Himself—and the Father in Him—by the Spirit…the one who follows Christ is the one who has the light of life……

Being with Christ where He is (i.e., following Christ) will mean the crucifixion of self-giving love….that seems to be the point of 12:26 and the surrounding verses. And yet, it is only in this Spirit-led embodiment of Christ that we enter into the “light of life,” that is, that we come to know God in Christ…..It is as though the only vessel capable of holding the Good Wine of God manifest in Christ is a vessel whose shape is carved out by the self-giving obedience of love to God and neighbor….and the more Christ-like self-giving carves its form into the vessel, the more of God in Christ it is capable of embracing.

If we would escape the dark night slavery to sin and opposition to God, and abide in the full daylight of God’s own character—known, loved, and conformed to—then let us (by grace) walk as Jesus walked….not because this earns our entrance into the light of life, but because as our soul increasingly takes on the shape of Christ, it’s capacity to embrace Christ increases as well.