12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.
Jesus’ opponents try to discredit him on a legal technicality. Another way to understand their challenge is that they are saying, “you need better evidence than your word to show you have been sent from God as the light of the world.”
This is the temptation that keeps coming up for all of us in the face of the claims regarding Jesus. How do you know it is true? It goes back to that temptation in the Garden of Eden which begins, “has God really said?” In other words, do not trust God, don’t accept his message, be cynical and trust your own thinking.
Jesus responds with a few lines of thought but the first is decisive for us. He says, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.” He is saying, “as the Son of God, I have come from my Father on a mission, and after I complete the work of salvation, having risen from the dead I will return to him.” For us it is simple enough, we know Jesus is the light of the world because he said he is and then proved it when he rose from the dead. He entered the darkness of death and rose triumphant for us.
Today as doubts about Jesus may enter your mind; as you may wonder how you can be confident in the words of hope and peace from Jesus; as you wonder how you can know that he has saved you and is protecting you as he leads you to a blessed eternity; remember that he has risen from dead!