The Gospel of John
(James J. Barker)

Lesson 23


(John 8:12-30)


1.     When we were back in John 6:35, I mentioned that this was the first of the seven “I am” statements found in the Gospel of John.

2.     These statements identify the Lord Jesus Christ with Jehovah God who spoke to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3.

3.     “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:13, 14; cf. John 8:24; 58).

4.     Jesus declared that He is “the bread of life” (6:35, 48), “the light of the world” (8:12), “the door” (10:7, 9), “the good shepherd” (10:11, 14), “the resurrection and the life” (11:25), “the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6), and “the true vine” (15:1, 5).

5.     No mortal man could ever make such claims.  The Gospel of John emphasizes the deity of Christ.

6.     Just the other day I was talking to a man who denies the deity of Christ.  When I asked him about John 1:1 he refused to answer me.

7.     Tonight we will look at the second “I am” statement – “I am of the light of the world.”  Referring to John 8:12 and the other “I am” statements, Harry Ironside said, “If Jesus Christ had been anything less than God it would be blasphemy to speak like this.”

8.     It would be a profitable Bible study to get out your concordance and trace out all the references to “the light” (cf. John 1:1-9; 3:19-21; 5:35; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9, 10; 12:35, 36, 46).

9.     Those are just a few references from the Gospel of John.  There are many others throughout the Bible, both in the OT & the NT.


1.     According to the Bible, you are either walking in the light or you are walking in darkness (John 8:12). First John 1:5 says, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” Contrast – light & darkness.   

2.     The apostle Paul said in Acts 26:18, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.”

3.     And in Ephesians 5:8, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light.”

4.     And in I Thessalonians 5:5, “Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.”

5.     First Peter 2:9 says, God “hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

6.     And I John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

7.     There are numerous other Scriptures, all attesting that this world is in spiritual darkness.  In our Lord’s day, the Greeks and the Romans were educated and sophisticated, but they were in spiritual darkness. 

8.     It is the same today.  The unregenerate are lost and in darkness.  They are spiritually blind (cf. II Cor. 4:3, 4).

9.     Spiritual darkness is engulfing our nation – the darkness of sin, superstition, unbelief, deception, idolatry, ignorance of God’s Word, rock music, pornography, drugs and alcohol, Hollywood, homosexuality, abortion, etc.

10. America needs to turn back to God.  We often sing “Send the Light, the blessed Gospel Light!” but do we really mean it?

11. Many Christians sing that song but never contribute one nickel to missions; never go out soulwinning; and never witness to their unsaved coworkers and neighbors.

12. P.P. Bliss wrote that great Gospel song, “The Light of the World is Jesus.”

The whole world was lost
In the darkness of sin,
The Light of the world is Jesus!
Like sunshine at noonday,
His glory shone in.
The Light of the world is Jesus!

Come to the light, ’tis shining for thee;
Sweetly the light has dawned upon me.
Once I was blind, but now I can see:
The Light of the world is Jesus!

13. Jesus said those who follow Him will not walk in darkness (cf. John 10:27).   Are you following Jesus?



1.     As we study this chapter we notice that our Lord was frequently interrupted and contradicted by His enemies (8:13, 19, 22, 25, 33, 39, 41, 48, 52, 57).

2.     Finally, after our Lord’s amazing statement, “Before Abraham was, I am” (8:58), they tried to stone Him (8:59).

3.     This chapter reminds us of John 1:5 and 3:19, and 20.

·        “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5).

·        “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19, 20).

4.     When our Lord said, “Ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go” (8:14), He meant they were walking in darkness.  They were spiritually blind and could not see the Light.

5.     When our Lord said, “Ye judge after the flesh…” (8:15), He meant they were carnal.   They judged superficially.  They had no spiritual discernment (cf. 8:21-23). 

6.     They were worldly (8:23).  Religious, but carnal, worldly, spiritually blind, and on their way to hell (8:24)!  What a lesson for us!  Churches are full of such people.

7.     One of the great themes of the Gospel of John is that Jesus was sent from God the Father (8:16, 18, 26, 29).  The message of John’s Gospel is that God sent His only begotten Son into the world to die on the cross for our sins, and those that believe in Him are saved.

8.     Those who do not believe in Him are lost and will die in their sins (8:21-24).  When Jesus said, “For if ye believe not that I am he…” (8:24), He was referring to Jehovah God, the same God who revealed Himself to Moses at the burning bush (Ex. 3:13, 14).



1.     At first glance verse 30 seems to indicate that “many” of those listening to our Lord were saved – “many believed on Him.”

2.     However, our Lord said in verse 31, “If ye continue in my word…” meaning that those who do not continue in His word are not genuinely saved.  The following verses reveal that these men were not children of God, but children of the devil (cf. 8:37-44).

3.     Mark that word “continue” (John 8:31).  First John 2:19 says, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”  

4.     I have seen people leave here and join the JW’s and other unscriptural groups.  They were never genuinely saved.

5.     The word “believe” must be understood by its context.  James 2:19 says, “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

6.     I am always meeting people who claim that they “believe” in Jesus but give absolutely no evidence of the new birth.



1.     According to the Bible there are only two ways to die.  In the book of Revelation, chapter 14 and verse 13, it says, “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

2.     And here in John 8:24, our Lord warns those who reject Him that they will “die in their sins” (John 8:21, 24).

3.     These are the only two choices.

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