What I Want You To Know About Jesus, #2
Vol. 19 No. 13 | March 26, 2017
I make no claim to be an expert on the history of light, but I know we are indebted to Thomas Edison for inventing the electric light bulb. Although there is evidence that before Edison, British inventors were demonstrating that electric light was possible with the arc lamp. Everything becomes much clearer when we have access to more light.
But when it’s dark, when there are no overhead lights, what do we do for illumination?
Before smart phones, if you wanted to see where you were going in the dark, you needed a flashlight. Before the flashlight, lanterns were the best way to overcome the darkness. Before the lantern, one may have used a candle. Before the candle, a torch might have been the light of choice. Before the torch…well, I am not sure what was used. There were probably a lot of stubbed toes and bruised heads. The point should be clear; if it is dark, you need light.
You need light when you are trying to navigate the darkness. But sometimes, just having a light is not enough.
For example, in a dimly lit restaurant, you can see, but maybe not well. You may need to move the menu closer to the candle to read it. Or, it is not uncommon to see people pull out their smart phones to help them see the menu better.
You may be in a room with a television on and a lamp on the table next to you. There is light, but if you decide to read the newspaper or a book, you may need more.
When I am in my bedroom looking for socks to wear, I may need additional light to tell which one is black and which one is blue. If the overhead light is not enough, I hold them under the lamp. If this still is not sufficient, I open the window shade to let the sunlight come through. Then, I can easily distinguish between to two colors. The sun is the true light. The Son of God is the true light.
John uses this kind of imagery when he describes Jesus.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:6-13, NIV)
The people had been waiting for and looking for the Light of God to come into the world. There were others who had come claiming they were the light or that they had the light. So it was only natural that those seeking it would go to John the Baptist to find out if he was the true light. John clarifies it when he tells them, “He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”
Then he says, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him”. Jesus is the true light. John could only point to the true light. He could provide some light, but he could not give the light that everyone was seeking, nor did he claim he could.
As it was in Jesus’ time, people are looking for more light today. A light that can reveal what is true, what is real and right.
People themselves can at times be the darkness that surrounds us and can be oppressive and depressing. In His sermon Jesus tells us that we are the “light of the world.” But we can only be the light when we have seen the light.
Jesus is the light. Jesus is the true light. Jesus is the One who can illuminate our path in the darkness. Jesus can bring light into our dark world. That is what He came to do. That is what He wants to do.
That is why I want you to know Jesus. He is the light! Move toward the light.
A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.