There is often a clash of kingdoms when the light is manifest. Earlier that day at the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus had testified to the Jews that He is the One who would give them (and us) the living water (John 7:38). He went on to say that He is the Light of the world. His statement of being the light of the world brought another attack from the Jewish leadership. When the light of God is made manifest, those called of God will come to the light; whereas, those who set themselves against the light draw back into darkness:
19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God (John 3:19-21).
Some are drawn to the light, but some will pull away. For various reasons, some people drawback for a time, but later come to the light because they saw something that attracted them. For example, Saul, the persecutor of Christianity, i.e., the one who became the Apostle Paul, when he witnessed the stoning to death of Stephen, saw him praying for his persecutors with his face shining with the glory of God. “All who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at Stephen, and they saw that his face was like the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15). God began to deal with Saul from that point onward. When the Lord confronted Saul on the Damascus road, He said to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goad” (Acts 26:14). The goad was a long stick with a pointed end to prod the oxen to make them work instead of standing still. The Lord was prodding Saul/Paul, i.e., stirring his innermost being with thoughts about faith in Christ. The prodding was a result of the light that Saul saw on the face of Stephen.
When you stand up for your faith and shine forth the light and joy of Jesus Christ, you will find some who are interested and hungry and thirsty for more, but you will also find many who initially hesitate and respond with anger. We see the rejection and anger among the Pharisees and the religious leaders of Christ’s day. In his excellent commentary, Chuck Swindoll brings out the stages of darkness that those who refused Christ went through as they rejected the Light of the World. It started as rejection, then accusation, and finally culminated in violence:
1. Contradiction. “Your witness is not true” (John 8:13).
2. Cynicism. “Where is your father? We were not born of fornication (John 8:19, 41).
3. Denial. “We have never enslaved anyone” (8:33).
4. Insult. “You are a Samaritan. You have a demon” 8:48).
5. Sarcasm. “Who do you make yourself out to be?” (v. 53).
6. Violence. “They took up stones to throw at Him” (v. 59).
Light has come into the world, but do you love the darkness more than the Light of the World? To respond to the Gospel and receive the gift of life; you need to welcome Him into your life: “To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). My prayer is that you would turn to the Light wholeheartedly and receive Him. Keith Thomas
Shortened from the more extended study at the following link: Jesus, the Light of the World
 Charles Swindoll, Swindoll’s New Testament Insights on John, Zondervan Publishers, 2010, Page 167.