April 14, 2021

What is internet, anyway?

April 14, 2021


John 8:12-20


The internet is so fully integrated into our lives at this point that it is almost impossible for us to remember the world before our phones were permanently attached to our hands. The answer to every question we could ever come up with is literally in our pockets. The kids we are raising know no other version of the world.

There is a video from 1994 of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel trying to figure out the internet. “What is internet, anyway?” they ask. They’re trying to make sense of the ampersand (@) and insist that it must mean “about.” It’s incredible now. But to be fair to them, we had no framework for this and neither did they. We could not understand the breadth of this connection the internet would provide.

Jesus trying to explain himself to the Pharisees is very much like a technology expert trying to explain the internet to 1994 Katie Couric. Jesus is having to work so hard here to make sense of who and what he is, of the relationship he has to God the Father, and ultimately the connection he would provide. It’s impossible. They have no basis for understanding this Messiah.

If you were around for the dawn of the internet, then you know that it felt clumsy at first, but it just became second nature over time. If Jesus’ claim here feels clumsy for you, my hope is that it might become second nature. That you might come to understand what it means that he is the light of the world. That following him means no longer walking in darkness. 


  • Can you think of a technology that sounded insane when you first heard it, but now it’s a common part of our lives?
  • What is your typical reaction when you hear about something that you don’t understand?
  • What does it mean to you that Jesus is the light of the world?


  • Share one thing that you don’t understand. Something simple or something amazing, but you don’t understand how it works.
  • Is it hard for you to ask when you don’t understand how something works?
  • What do you think it means when Jesus says that those who follow him won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life?


God, we give you thanks for your son Jesus who lived among people whose minds simply couldn’t understand. And we give you thanks that he desired to connect with us and help us to understand that he is the light of the world. Help us to follow him more closely so that we’ll understand him more and so that we’ll walk in the light with him. Amen.