Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” - Isaiah 42:5-6
Just as Isaiah had prophesied, Jesus had come as a friend of sinners. He was the one who had come to open blinded eyes, to heal the sick, to set free those who were bound. However, while Christ miraculously healed many physical ailments, it was the desperate spiritual counterparts to these physical problems that motivated Christ to do His saving work.
For example, Jesus had come to open blinded eyes, like those of the man in John 9; but when we arrive in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul writes about those who are spiritually “blinded.” Jesus did not just come to relieve physical suffering; He had come to relieve spiritual suffering. He had come in fulfillment of prophecy to vanquish both physical and spiritual darkness.
Jesus certainly did not shy from the opportunity to show compassion, it was clear that the message and mission of Jesus was to unwind the multifaceted curse of sin, both physical and spiritual. He had come to defeat sin-caused brokenness.
With the Feast of the Tabernacles now completed, Jesus stood in the temple and continued to teach those gathered around. “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” This was the purpose for which He had come. He was not merely a teacher in Galilee, or in Israel, He was the Light of the world. He had come to vanquish spiritual darkness and spiritual sickness for both Jew and Gentile.
Sadly, even though He had come, not all would receive Him. Jesus had already told Nicodemus in John 3:19, “The light has come into the world, but men love darkness rather than light.” There were those infatuated with their sinfulness that never turn and have their eyes opened. Rather, in spiritual darkness they stumble through life wandering from empty, disappointing decision to decision. Even though the light has appeared, it is not light for all men, because there are those who reject it.
Finally, Jesus warned those in the temple that day, that if they rejected Him, there would be death awaiting them. In their un-forgiven, self-righteous, sinful state condemnation was certain. Apart from Jesus, there is no hope. Apart from the Light of the World there is no eternal life. There is no other enlightened path that leads to God. Jesus alone is the way.
Food For Thought: Malachi 4:2 is prophetic passage that tells about the second coming of Jesus. What imagery is used that is similar to what Jesus used in John 8:12?