In John 8:12-30, while arguing with the Pharisees, Jesus declares bold truths including that he is the light of the world.
The Pharisees were trying very hard to corner Jesus and prove he was a fraud, but their plan backfired. The more they tried and the more they solidified their unbelief, the more others began to believe.
“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.’”John 8:12
It is fitting that Jesus referred to himself as the light of the world because light was an important aspect of the Feast of Booths that had just occurred. Remember that this feast was done in remembrance of the exodus and the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness where they were guided at night by a pillar of fire (light).
It is also fitting because the scriptures often referred to God’s Word as light such as in Psalm 119:105: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Then at the beginning of John’s gospel he says that Jesus is the Word.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”John 1:1-5
I love the image of Jesus as light because it is full of hope. The world is a dark place, stained by sin, but we don’t have to be afraid because as followers of Jesus we have him as our light to guide us and protect us.