CMP Review 2023-05-14

CMP Review 2023-05-14

“But in identifying himself as the Light of the World,” observes Joseph Dongell, “Jesus was doing more than playing on the visual imagery of the moment. Light, it must be remembered from the Old Testament, symbolized (among other things) God’s gift of life, the guidance of God, the protection of God, even the very presence of God… Should one understand ‘light’ even in its most limited sense, Jesus’ claim to be the Light of the World constituted a high claim indeed. But to this claim Jesus added a lofty promise: Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life… According to the combined implications of these words, Jesus was offering himself as God’s sole means of salvation for God’s people as well as for the whole world.”

Dongell aptly reasons, then, that “So monumental was this claim that Jesus should have been challenged about His right to make it. Spoken without authority, these words constituted foolish self-promotion (at the least) and blasphemous assault on God (at the most).”

But the Pharisees did not challenge Him on these terms. Rather, they were “crippled by impure motives and rock-solid prejudice against Jesus,” writes Dongell. “The Pharisees began their challenge by noting the principle accepted by Jesus that truth never comes along the line of a single witness, especially a single self-witness: Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

Charlotte Mason also observed this oddly legal response to Christ’s extraordinary claims. She also observed the escalating conflict which ensued. Read or hear her devout and penetrating poem here.