God’s Word; God’s Light

PMT 2014-072b by Don Strickland

The disciple we know as John uses certain metaphorical devices in his writings. One shown here is the contrast between light and dark (or day and night).

John 3.1-2 and 19-21:
Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night. . . . 19 “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 ” For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

The disciple we know as John uses certain metaphorical devices in his writings. One shown here is the contrast between light and dark (or day and night). Note that Nicodemus came from the dark (night) to the Light. Later, when Judas leaves Jesus’s presence at the Last Supper, John writes that, “he went out immediately; and it was night.” Light, in John’s writings, many times represents God’s revelation. Darkness represents the concealing or suppressing of that revelation.

Paul also speaks to this concept in Romans 1, “18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . . 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” Paul recognized that darkness comes when God’s revelation is rejected.

Of course, Jesus is God’s ultimate revelation to man. He, himself, claimed to be the “Light of the world” (John 8.12). And those who believe in Christ, “become the sons of Light” (John 12.36). While He is not physically present in this world, we are His ambassadors, shining His light into the dark places around us.

This idea is important for two other reasons. First, walking in the light of God’s revealed will is important not only for our fellowship with Him, but also for our fellowship with each other. Take note of 1 John 1.6-7, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Thus, our relationship with Him has a direct connection with our relationship to each other.

Second, the progress toward the one true Light is indicative of the return of Christ (1 John 2.8). Elsewhere, in a similar fashion, Paul likens this present time to the first rays of the sun as they are growing in intensity just before the full light of its presence ushers in the dawn (Rm 13.12). And thus, from that motivational word picture, Paul commands us to “put on the armor of light.” Act as if Christ were present–for He soon will be. Either we will go to Him, or He will come to us.

Don Strickland

Don Strickland

I would hope that you would claim that you are saved, and therefore you have come to dwell in the Light. But the work of sanctification is not finished. There are places in each of our lives where we enjoy the darkness–some pet sin(s). A place where God’s Light is not welcome because the evil that is left in us does not want to be exposed. Read His Word and pray to be shown where those places are, so that God will continue the work of sanctification in your life.

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