Few more famous words were ever spoken: “I am the light of the world.” And yet spoken in a context when those who heard the words were willfully blind to that light. The great “Light of the World” painting by William Holman Hunt illustrates the point: Jesus stands holding light and being the light, and yet the door of the mind is obstinately closed to him. We must, by God’s Spirit, see the light to know that he is the light. Let us pray that God’s Spirit illumines our mind so that we are not blind but are seeing.
The Pharisees did not. They ply Jesus with foolish questions and pointless cavils. If you have ever been in a situation where you are teaching a class of children, and a rather obtuse student refuses to accept what you are saying is true and keeps on insisting that they know better—well, if you can imagine that, you have some infinitesimally small similitude to the oddity of the Pharisees claiming to know better theology than Jesus! To know better divinity than the Divine Being! How absurd. Of course, Jesus can bear witness to himself (8:14), but to assuage their damaged conscience, Jesus condescends to explain that the Father also witnesses to him, which would meet the stringent requirements of their law (8:17-18). It is quite appropriate for us to ask God our questions, but to do so in a humble posture seeking answers—knowing full well that sometimes the answers will be far beyond our human understanding.
And then, slam dunk, Jesus says “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” So much for all those who say that you can worship the Father God and not worship Jesus. Jesus is the full revelation of God. To worship God means that if you come across Jesus, you will recognize him as God. If you know Jesus, you will then also know the Father. Let our worship, then, be foundationally, essentially, and thoroughly centered upon and elevating Jesus the Christ!
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