A PENCHANT FOR DARKNESS

Jesus had many things to say about light and dark—grace and condemnation.  You cannot really listen to Jesus without having to face up to something we have spent our lives avoiding. He says things we want to resist or at deny. 


In his conversation with Nicodemus he said,


John 3:
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But 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.


Jesus counters the religious mindset about God’s wrath with the opportunity of salvation. He comes in God’s Name without the condemnation. There is an honest way to see that we are God’s lawbreakers and incapable of self-rescue. Jesus has good news of how God wants to welcome us home with the gift of mercy. But this strange proposition threatens the very essence of a man and his penchant for finding his own way. The one that trusts in their own judgment always has a hard time when they face a real judge.

In the darkness you can sometimes co-exist with the truth you cannot see.  We can all keep our secrets in the dark; that place where no one can really see what we have become. We are quite hesitant about the light of full exposure.

Spiritual light reveals things plainly for what they are. It is the truth encounter we desire or we hide from. Jesus makes a bold declaration about himself and encounters an immediate resistance when he says,


John 8:
12 “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.”


The Pharisees felt the need to discredit Jesus. That is not a new tendency. Every generation legalistically searches for ways to discredit the clearly lit Jesus. If you cannot reconcile with what you see in the light of Jesus, you live in your own imagined light. 

Just as we have artificial light in the electric age, there can be artificial or false light spiritually. The Devil also has a Halloween costume so you do not recognize him at your door. He appears as an angel of light. Apparently we can easily be deceived by appearances.

We might settle for a weak flashlight under the covers instead of the beauty of a sunlit day. It may be in our nature to prefer a lesser light. We are like so many blind men trying to articulate what we see in the dark shadows. The miracle of clear vision may be far from us.

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