Day 22: Seeing through the dark
Ever wear night-vision goggles? I haven’t. They seem cool. What is not cool is being in the dark. Most of us in the dark slow down and even stumble about. For some, fear of the dark stops them dead in their tracks. The solution is finding and getting into light.
I can see in the dark. I can. I am convinced of it. In fact, I walk around in the dark all the time. There is the occasional, stub my toe moment, but in general I am very good at this, and remarkably humble about it. Seriously, I grew up in a home where turning on a light was a big deal. Forgetting to turn one off even bigger. I also am a light sleeper, so when I get up early, I don’t want to bother others.
Here is the deal. My wife is not a light sleeper. She is constantly telling me to “turn on a light”. Normally after she hears a crash from me bumping into something. Now as a proud man, who knows I am endowed with the ability to walk in the dark, I choose to ignore her advice. All this leads to meslowly, and rather hesitatingly, walking around in the dark.
Jesus says “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Verse 12)
The Pharisees (one of the religious groups of the day) say, “We can walk in darkness, we don’t need your light.” Okay, that is not exactly what they say. They do however spend from verses 13 – 26 debating with him again. They keep essentially saying, “Prove yourself to us.” You might say, “We don’t care that you have done all these miracles, we are going to sit in darkness and demand you show us, in the dark, who you are.”
To step into the light requires a step of belief.
They do not want to step into the light of belief. In fact, the scene goes from bad to worse. They cannot see, and they cannot hear, Jesus. Jesus on his part really pokes at them. He tells them that if they abide in his word, then they will be his disciples. They will know truth, and the truth will set them free.
Rather than being set free, they are set on edge. They lean back into their heritage, and all that does is lead to a back and forth with Jesus proclaiming himself to be God. “Before Abraham was, ‘I am.’” It is clear as day… Jesus is saying He is God.
John could have written all the miracles Jesus did. He could have provided all the teachings he shared. We know that Jesus had a reputation. That he did much and taught much. My sense from what we have read together is that it did not matter in Jesus’ day. The debates would have continued.
Which leads to the question for our day. We have a lot of information about Jesus. We have a lot of information about how people who have followed Jesus, how their lives bear witness to him. Yes, there is history of the church messing up royally. There is, however, overwhelming evidence that many who have followed, who have stepped into the light, have lived transformed lives. Where are you in the “debate” about Jesus?
The invitation to follow Him keep coming.