Last Instructions: Walk in the Light

Read John 12: 27-36a
So Jesus said to them, ‘The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you…While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ John 12:35a, 36a

If you knew you were going to die on Friday, what would you tell your spouse, children, parents, and friends? What last words would you leave them? This is the situation in which we find Jesus. He is in a conversation with His disciples giving them His last words. Last words are important because they convey what is most important to the person dying. Therefore, those words are usually best remembered. So Jesus instructs His disciples to walk and believe in the light.

Light is a prominent motif in the gospel of John. In John 1:5, John wrote concerning Jesus, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus had said concerning Himself in John 8:12, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Light is used figuratively to represent righteousness and therefore life. Darkness, which is sin or unrighteousness, leads to death; but, righteousness leads to life. Since God is life, Jesus is logically the Light of the world.

For three years, it was easy for the disciples to walk in light because they had been literally walking with the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. But now He urges them to continue to walk in the light, because with His departure walking in light will not be as easy. He does not want, with His leaving, for sin to overtake His disciples. We are all prone to walk in darkness because we are by nature sinful people, but now, through Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection, we can step out of darkness into the light.

Are you walking in the light? What excuses have you given for not walking in the light? Are you using your own salvation as an excuse to walk in darkness? (If so, read Romans 6:15-19.) How does Jesus’ death for you on the cross compel you to continue to walk with Him?

As we think about His last words, let us also remember what Jesus said earlier in His ministry in John 3:19-21. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

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