Jesus spoke to them again, “I am the Light of the world; the one who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have light and life.” The Pharisees replied, “Now you are speaking on your own behalf, your testimony is worthless.”
Then Jesus said, “Even though I bear witness to myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I have come from and where I am going. But you do not know where I came from or where I am going.
You judge by human standards; as for me, I don’t judge anyone. But if I had to judge, my judgment would be valid for I am not alone: the Father who sent me is with me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid; so I am bearing witness to myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness to me.”
They asked him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t know me or my Father; if you knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
Jesus said these things when he was teaching in the temple area, in the place where they received the offerings. No one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.
Nowadays many agnostics and atheists, wanting to be “politically correct” and to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings unnecessarily, will proclaim to all and sundry that, although they cannot bring themselves to accept Jesus Christ as “the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God” (Creed), nevertheless admire him as one of the greatest men who ever lived.
This concession of the atheists is well-meant, but it is one of the most foolish stances one can adopt in reference to Jesus. And today’s gospel reading makes this abundantly clear. For there Jesus says of himself, “I am the light of the world.” Elsewhere he says, “I am the resurrection and the life” (Jn 11:25). Anyone making such claims nowadays would soon end up in a mental hospital. Only megalomaniacs or tricksters talk like that.
And so, when faced with Jesus’ stupendous claims, we can only in strict logic think he is one of three things: lunatic, liar or Lord. To think of him as being merely a great man is nonsensical. Those who think that have simply never read the gospels.
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