Today Jesus explains to Nicodemus how light (Jesus) has come into the world and how the world has rejected it because it prefers to dwell in darkness. This is a great opportunity for self-reflection in terms of our willingness to let God’s light shine on our lives today…
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 and Nicodemus, the Jewish leader who came to him at night, are talking about eternal life. And after Jesus explains that God sent his only son to save the world, Jesus explains how it will unfold. He is speaking in the past tense, yet what he is describing was unfolding right before their eyes in the first century and would continue to unfold up to the point of Jesus’ death and resurrection.
In fact, what Jesus describes continues to unfold today as each new generation of the world has an opportunity to deal with the coming of Jesus Christ into the world. And here’s how it goes:
When our deeds are evil, we love darkness instead of light. This is common to mankind. If we are doing something wrong or evil, we do not wish for it to be exposed to the world. We keep it in the dark. Everyone has something in the dark, and some people dwell entirely in the dark. This is the reality of our world.
Jesus shines light on that darkness. In fact, Jesus is the light shining into that darkness. Many people fearing that their deeds will be exposed, reject the light. And in doing so they miss the truth and the salvation which Jesus offers.
Those, however, who live by the truth are not afraid to come into the light, ‘so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.‘
I think we should be careful in thinking about that second group – those who live by the truth. There is a tendency to think of them as perfect or righteous and that there are only two extremes – the evil and the good. And I don’t see that here. I see people described who live by the truth. Not necessarily perfectly.
The difference is that they welcome Jesus’ light because it exposes their lives. His light shows everything, and the person desiring to live by the truth desires for their work to be tested and evaluated against the truth so they can continue to reflect their goal day after day.
Jesus, shine your light on us.
Shine your light on every part of our lives.
So that we can follow you better tomorrow,
And so that our deeds will reflect your grace and truth in our world.