The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 92

In Yerushalayim for Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles) ~ Part 6

In our last post, we learned that Nakdimon (Nicodemus) Counsels Caution and about the Women Caught in Adultery. In this post, we will learn that Yeshua says, “I am the Light of the World.”

“I am the Light of the World”

We pick up where we left off in our last post with Yeshua still speaking on the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Rabbah:

12 Yeshua spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life.”

I am the light of the world: whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light which gives life. Compare Isaiah 9:1(2), “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light,” and Malachi 4:2(3:20), “But to you who fear my name the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in his wings”; both are alluded to at Luke 1:78–79. All these texts have been understood as referring to Yeshua as the light or in connection with light.

13 So the P’rushim said to Him, “Now you’re testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Yeshua answered them, “Even if I do testify on My own behalf, My testimony is indeed valid; because I know where I came from and where I’m going; but you do not know where I came from or where I’m going. 15 You judge by merely human standards. As for Me, I pass judgment on no one;

I pass judgment on no one. Not now, during His human life, during his first coming. In the future, He will judge everyone (Yochanan 5:22, 27–30).

16 but if I were indeed to pass judgment, My judgment would be valid; because it is not I alone who judge, but I and the One who sent Me. 17 And even in your Torah, it is written that the testimony of two people is valid.

Your Torah. Some, perhaps to cast suspicion on whether Yeshua considered Himself a Jew, suppose that with these words He distanced Himself from the Torah, that by calling it your Torah, He meant that it belonged to the Judeans or P’rushim but not to Him. But there is no such implication, for Yeshua, too, is part of the Jewish people to whom the Torah was given. Instead, the sense is that since the Torah is theirs, as they themselves have already claimed (v. 5), they should heed it. (Compare President John F. Kennedy’s famous inauguration address challenge, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” Needless to say, Kennedy considered America his own country too.) The testimony of two people is valid. See Deuteronomy 17:15, 19:15.

18 I myself testify on My own behalf, and so does the Father who sent Me.” 19 They said to Him, “Where is this ‘father’ of yours?” Yeshua answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father too.” 20 He said these things when He was teaching in the Temple treasury room, yet no one arrested Him because His time had not yet come[1]

Yeshua is not using the texts referred to in the previous verse literally to prove, as He would if it were a court hearing, that He has two acceptable witnesses. He is using them midrashically: [2] He and His Father have independent wills (Yochanan 5:19) and are, therefore, “two” witnesses. Yeshua never speaks of Yosef as His Father in any of the Gospels; always, he speaks of God as his Father.

In our next post, we continue with our new series on Yeshua’s Journey to Yerushalayim for the Feast of Sukkot. In our next post, Yeshua Warns Against Unbelief and more.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan 8:12–20.
[2] Creating a commentary on the Hebrew Scriptures.

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