Bible Reading: John 3:18-21
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is” [John 3:19-21 The Message]
One of John’s favourite subjects is light and darkness. It almost seems that in these verses John is enlarging upon the statements in John 1:5-8. It is John who also repeats the statement of Jesus, “I am the Light of the world” [John 8:12; 9:5]. Later in John’s Gospel Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness” [John 12:46]
In his first epistle John writes, “God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all” [1 John 1:5]. God is good, pure, true, holy and reliable, and as His children we are called to live in this same godly way! One of the names given to God’s children is “sons of light” [John 12:36]. To be in Christ means to have come out of darkness and into the Light [Colossians 1:12-13]. Just this afternoon I was asked by a Christian to talk with someone else about an issue but to say something that is, to say the least, being conservative with the truth. That is a perfect picture of not walking in the light! James says, “Let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’, and your ‘No’ be ‘No’ lest you fall into judgement” [James 5:12]. To walk in the light is to live a life of purity and transparency, before both God and men. It is to have no hidden agendas or double standards.
Because light reveals what is in the darkness it is therefore both a challenge and a threat to those who walk in darkness. Men love darkness more than light. Darkness is where God, who is Light, has not penetrated. To walk in darkness is to live in a way that displeases God. It is the way of impurity, uncleanness and untruthfulness. Those who live in darkness and whose deeds are evil hate the light because it exposes their acts and the evil of their hearts [John 3:20]. The Bible says that people who refuse to come to the light are condemned because they choose darkness, on the other hand the person who does what is right is unafraid of the darkness.
When my wife and I lived and worked in Westminster, we regularly prayed, together with others, that the light would shine in Parliament, and the works of darkness would be uncovered. Not long after that the expenses scandal came to light and the dishonesty of some of our leaders shocked the nation!
Have you ever been intimidated by a boss at work or some other person to do something wrong or to tell a lie? How did you handle that situation?
What might happen if you would pray for light to shine in the darkness?
Read 1 John 1:7. Why is walking in the light a key good Christian fellowship?