John 7:14 and 8:12
St. Mary of the Angels
September 3, 2021
John 8:12: “Then Jesus spake again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
As evidenced by John 7:14 (“Now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the Temple, and taught”), John 8:12 is spoken during the Feast of the Tabernacles. Going up into the Temple in John 7:14 and being the light of the world in John 8:12 are the clues that, indeed, this is the feast referenced. For the Feast of the Tabernacles is the commemoration of God being the light in the wilderness during the 40 years of the Israelite sojourn that drew His people into Himself (the Temple, the Tabernacle, and the Booths references, see Leviticus 23:33-44). He is the Light that will draw you in to where the living giving water is – hence, “the light of life.”
Interconnectedness of Light and Life:
Light awakens us out from the darkness/sleep/death: See Genesis 1:3: “Then God said, Let there be light, and there was light.”
Creation is literally an “awakening” out from nothingness (the deep or the void), so the new creation also is literally an “awakening” out from death. This second awakening is what has happened in the Resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Light allows for intellectual discernment: See Ephesians 5:13: “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light…”
Light allows for moral discernment: See Proverbs 4:18: “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.”
Notice that intellectual and moral discernment are processes: “becoming” more visible, or “shining brighter and brighter until the full day.” There is a sense of being drawn in, and so the pilgrimage into God is as important as what we learn about God. The pilgrimage into greater intellectual and moral discernment is as important as having attained wisdom and sanctity.
Light transforms us: See 1 Thessalonians 5:5: “For you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness.”
Because we are transformed, our Light cannot (and should not) be hidden: See Matthew 5:14: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
Because we are transformed, our Light cannot (and should not) be diluted by affiliation with disbelief and sin: See 2 Corinthians 6:14: “Do not be bound together with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”
Because we are transformed, our Light binds us with one another into the Father’s Kingdom and for the work He has ordained unto us: See 1 Peter 2:9: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light.”
And we are transformed in and for the Resurrection of Christ Jesus: See Isaiah 60:1: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”
Therefore, the beginning and the end of our transformation in divine light is the Resurrection of Christ Jesus. His Resurrection is forecast in the beginning of creation (Genesis 1:3) and is in the culmination of all of history (See Revelation 21:23: “And the city has no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: The glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof”). It is important to note the similarity between Genesis 1:3 and Revelation 21:23: God spake, and there was light, and the glory of God did lighten it. “God spake” and “the glory of God” are one and the same, for His glory spreads out from Himself like His Word and draws creation back in.
Nothing but God alone can suffice to be “the light of life,” or the light that transforms totally all that is fallen back into all that is redeemed: See Isaiah 24:23: “The moon will be confounded, and the sun will be ashamed; for the Lord of Hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders with great glory.” Therefore, when Christ Jesus refers to Himself as this light of life, He is referring to His own divinity.
The Feast of the Tabernacles: On each of the nights, there is an illumination in the court of the Temple to celebrate “The Rejoicing of the Water-Drawing.” Four large golden candelabra shed their light through the whole city. There is dancing and singing, and the music of instruments, throughout the night. At daybreak, a procession to the Pool of Siloam is formed. So we see the water drawing is bound up with the illumination. The faithful end up back in their tents (booths or tabernacles) where they sleep with God.
33 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the Lord.
35 On the first day shall be an holy convocation: ye shall do no servile work therein.
36 Seven days ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: on the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord: it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein.
37 These are the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:
38 Beside the sabbaths of the Lord, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill offerings, which ye give unto the Lord.
39 Also in the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when ye have gathered in the fruit of the land, ye shall keep a feast unto the Lord seven days: on the first day shall be a sabbath, and on the eighth day shall be a sabbath.
40 And ye shall take you on the first day the boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and ye shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
41 And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month.
42 Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths:
43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
44 And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.
And John 7:14 and 8:12:
14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.