John 8:12-20 (ESVST)
12 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.”
Jesus is still in Judea at the temple teaching. Jesus continued with his teaching and this time said to them that he is the light of the world. You would remember in chapter 7:37-39, that Jesus told them before that whoever is thirsty must come to him and drink and whoever believed in him out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. This he said using one of the activities that happened during the feast of booths were water was drawn from the pool of Siloam by the priests. As the priests did this, they recited Isaiah 12:3 which talked about drawing water from the wells of salvation. He was using this activity to teach.
Now, Jesus is using another activity that happening at the feast to teach. The Feast of Tabernacles included spectacular ceremonies that symbolized multiple themes:harvest, drought, the coming winter darkness and the desert wandering after the exodus. Four stands, each holding four golden bowls, were placed in the heavily used court of women. These large bowls were filled with oil and lit during the feast. On this final day of Tabernacles, Jesus was teaching in the treasury located within the court of women. It was in this setting, standing beneath 16 lit bowls of oil, that Jesus identified himself as the true light of the world. So, Jesus used these lights that were there to draw their attention to the true light of the world which is himself.
Jesus then continued to say that whoever followed him, would not walk in darkness but would have the light of life.
Proverbs 4:18-19 (ESVST)
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. 19 The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know over what they stumble.
People who work in darkness do not know where they are going, they are blinded by the darkness and they stumble all over the place but Jesus is the light that overcomes the darkness and leads to eternal life. Jesus is therefore saying, if you believe in me, you will have life.
13 So the Pharisees said to him, “ You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.”
The law of Moses required a testimony of two or more witnesses before truth can be established. This is why the Pharisees were saying that Jesus’s testimony is false since there were no witnesses. Jesus then gave them 3 reasons why his testimony is true. This is apart from the witnesses that he had already given them in chapter 5:30-47. Let’s look at the first one
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
Jesus told them that his testimony was true because he knows exactly where he comes from and where he is going.
John 16:28 (ESVST)
I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” Jesus told them that I know I come from the Father and I know I am going back to him but you on the other hand are ignorant because you don’t know where I come from or where I am going.
15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me.
Jesus also told them that his testimony is true because they judge based on human standards and he judges no one.
John 7:24 (ESVST)
Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” Jesus was saying their judgement is based on outward appearances. Jesus by saying that he judges no one in my view could mean that he is not here currently to judge but the time will come when he will be judging. Jesus then told them, even if he were to judge, his judgement would be true because his judgement is supported by God who sent him.
17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”
Jesus lastly told them that his testimony is true because not only does he bear witness of himself but, his Father also bears witness of him.
19 They said to him therefore, “ Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 These words he spoke in the treasury, as he taught in the temple; but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus told them that they can’t know the father if they don’t even know him. He spoke these words in the treasury. The “treasury” was next to the Court of Women, where the lighting ceremony and dancing took place throughout the nights of the festival. The treasury itself may have been used only for storage.