“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God."
While God’s basic orientation towards the world is one of love, the world’s basic orientation towards God is one of hostility. People, generally, are happy to live their lives outside the light of God. Just as a teenager enjoying a lie-in will vehemently object to his parent turning on the light in his room, and retreat back under the covers, so the world has responded to Jesus.
Often light attracts us. We are drawn towards light as moths to a flame. Light represents warmth and safety. Light enables us to see. In the depths of winter we like to come into the light – at Christmas we decorate our houses with lights. Yet the light that is in Christ has repelled people as much as it has drawn them.
To those who love the darkness the light of Christ is less pleasing illumination and more hostile searchlight. To the guilty, seeking obscurity in the shadows, a searchlight is intimidating rather than comforting.
But to those who step out into this light, who choose to submit themselves to its beam, there is no waiting jailers cell or firing squad. Instead there is a heavenly welcome and the forgiveness of sins. Suddenly what we do we are able to do in the light – where we are less likely to trip over obstacles and injure ourselves. In the light we are able to do the works of God, without fear or shame.
• Why does Jesus provoke a strong reaction in people?
• Jesus and Nick were having this conversation at night – do you think Nick was hiding in the shadows or coming into the light?
• What is the difference between works done in the darkness and works done in the light?
• If Jesus has enabled you to come into the light – Praise Him!
• Thank God that he calls us to do good works, in the light – works that he takes pleasure in.
• Praise Jesus that the light always wins in the end – the darkness will not last.