As you read from John 8:12 onwards, you notice how there are two conversations happening. Jesus makes a statement, for example as He does in verse 12, “I am the light of the world” and the people listening (in this case the Pharisees) respond, “You are bearing witness about yourself; your testimony is not true.” (vs 13). It is clear that the Pharisees (and later in the passage the Jews) have not understood what Jesus is saying.
The basic problem for the Pharisees is that they do not believe Jesus. They do not believe Jesus because they still walk in darkness. They do not have the light. They do not have the “light of the world” and nor do they have the “light of life”. Until verse 30, they are talking past each other. In verse 30 we are told, “many believed in him”. At that point, Jesus turns to those who believed and says “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (vs 31).
It is a reminder that we cannot know and understand the Truth until we believe in Jesus. In that moment the scales fall from our eyes and understanding, and the truth of the gospel shines through. It is not about our intellectual knowledge or understanding, what is required to see the Truth is to believe in Jesus. When we believe in Jesus, we have the ”light of life”.
In conversations and discussions with unbelievers, we can bring out the best rational arguments and they often still walk away not understanding. We can get frustrated and wonder how can they not understand, how can they not see the truth. This passage reminds us that the key turning point is believing in Jesus. Let’s pray for our friends, family and work colleagues to believe in Jesus so that the scales are lifted from their eyes and they are able to walk in the light and see the truth.