New New Light
John 1:9-18 ESV
When we think of light we probably automatically think of something that illuminates.
The sun gives us light. When it came up this morning I could see it peeking through the trees. The sky around it gradually went from dark to peach, to orange. Then it was bright and yellow white.
A light in a room illuminates what was in darkness. When the light is turned on we realize we can see things in the room that we couldn’t see before the light was turned on.
Light reveals hidden objects.
A person can also reveal what was previously hidden, but the revelation is different.
I’ve known people who brought the light of revelation into a room just by entering the room. They might be quiet, but they had a ‘presence’ about them.
When I was in Junior High School I had a teacher who lit up the room when he entered. When he walked into the classroom we would stop talking and we waited for him to speak. He was always immaculately dressed and he only spoke when he had something important to say. I respected him. He taught me to speak with intentionality.
I also learned not to speak simply to fill the void. I learned that silence was important. I learned the importance of a pause.
He was my speech teacher.
I still practice things I learned from him.
I think Jesus was like him times ten.
When He entered a room, people noticed Him.
When he looked at someone He saw their soul. He saw their heart. His presence revealed truth when He entered a room.
In John 1:9-18 the disciple aptly described the person who was light, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.”
John tells us the ONE who came into the world was not OF this world but His light revealed truth.
John also made it clear that even though He made the world He was not received in that world.That makes us wonder how very difficult that would have been for Him. We know that Jesus loved everyone but there were people who did not return love to Him.
There were people who challenged Him and challenged who He was.
That sheds light on why receiving Him meant something. Those who believed became spiritual children of God.
When Jesus came, John witnessed it. John saw people who believed that Jesus was God.
People witnessed Jesus healing lepers.
They saw Jesus touch the lame so they could walk.
They heard about the blind being able to see after Jesus touched them.
There were people who believed because they saw Jesus’ miracles. There were also people who believed simply because they saw Jesus and they knew He was unlike any other man. He was God.
I wish I could write about how I came to know Jesus. I was very young. I heard about Jesus in Sunday School. My dad talked about Jesus. I remember wanting Jesus to be part of my life.
Then slowly, Jesus became part of my life.
For me, there was no flashing light.
Jesus didn’t physically appear to me but when I prayed, I could feel Jesus. I knew He was near me.
Then I knew He was with me.
I remember telling Jesus I wanted more of Him…and then there was more.
Jesus gave me everything I asked for and more, but He didn’t push me. He waited until I asked.
Gradually as I grew into adulthood I seriously wanted more and I asked for more. I asked Jesus to reveal Himself to me.
Now I look back over the decades. I’ve seen Jesus reveal light to my children. I see how Jesus changed them. Now I listen to my grandchildren. They ask questions and they struggle just like I used to struggle because I wanted more of Jesus and I didn’t know what that looked like or felt like.
I know their struggle is a good sign. They want the light to be revealed to them. They want it…
I smile because Jesus promised that when they believe and receive, they are children of God. Even though they still have questions and they don’t understand, in time Jesus will reveal the light to them.
I remember. It was (is) a crazy journey. It’s a crazy wonderful journey with God.
Spiritual Practice: The Struggle
Think about your story, your struggle. Remember how God was revealed to you.
In God, Deborah