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13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.”


The Pharisees now debated the validity of Jesus’ claim to deity (Jn 8:12). They asserted that just because Jesus made an “I am” claim did not make it true. According to them, that was simply self-witness, not sufficient documentation for a claim. Jesus previously agreed that self-witness was not sufficient (Jn 5:31) but He gave another important witness in this passage.

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him,

The “therefore” draws an inference from verse 12 where Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” The next sequence deals with the Pharisees’ challenge to His assertion. This was the first time that religionists confronted Jesus face to face. It was a public confrontation.

“You bear witness of Yourself;

Rabbinic tradition rejected testimony of the self without other corroboration. Jewish law required two or more witnesses. The Pharisees challenged Jesus on a legal point here.

Your witness is not true.”

The Pharisees were not convinced of who Jesus was, no matter how many miracles He performed or what He claimed. Their purpose was to cast doubt on His credibility. They did this through a legal technicality in Scripture.

These religionists did not attempt to address the central issue that Jesus raised—“I am the light of the world.” That is, Jesus is the revealer of eternal things. These things are beyond the ability of human beings to understand in their finiteness. God must take the initiative to reveal truth because man in his finiteness cannot come to infinite truth. God takes the initiative through Christ, who is “the light” (Jn 1:7).


Light establishes its own claim.


Light establishes its own claim. It does not attempt to do so by argument but by shining truth from a completely different viewpoint than man can concoct. Light should be accepted for what it does; objections from the spiritually blind make no difference. The “light of life” from Jesus gives eternal life.

Light convinces us by what it does for us. We see light is light by its rays, by its revelation. Light illuminates what God is and what He does in Christ. Light can make us spiritually alive. There is a self-evidencing of truth when it comes to God and Christ. To say that we cannot see beauty is to condemn ourselves.