It was all fun and games until the lights went out! Have you ever really been in total darkness, where you couldn’t even see your hand in front of you face? Many years ago our friends from Missouri took us to see the local, but abandoned, coal mines. One of the mines had become a tourist attraction. It had an underground lake where many scuba divers went even lower in this cave of darkness with lights on their heads to see old equipment at the bottom. Mm, not my cup of tea!
The mine had low lights around the walls to guide us as we climbed down, down down to a larger platform. The guide wanted us to realize just how dark the cave could be. I really didn’t need to know this. Our kids suddenly were at our side, all three, close enough we could feel their breath. “They are NOT going to turn off the lights, are they?”, asked the youngest. Before all those fearful words were said, the lights went out. “See how dark it is?”, said the guide who took a little more pleasure in this act than he should have in my opinion. Then the lights came back on.
Later, we climbed up the narrow, crude ladder-like steps to come into the bright sunlight again. My family all agreed that we did not need to experience that again. Ever. We like light over darkness! We were not created to be moles.
Jesus proclaims He is Light, the world’s Light. NO ONE who follows Him stumbles around in the darkness. But many still didn’t get it…maybe a good “bottom of the mine” visit might have helped them?
John 8, The Message
You’re Missing God in All This
12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”
13 The Pharisees objected, “All we have is your word on this. We need more than this to go on.”
14-18 Jesus replied, “You’re right that you only have my word. But you can depend on it being true. I know where I’ve come from and where I go next. You don’t know where I’m from or where I’m headed. You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don’t make judgments like that. But even if I did, my judgment would be true because I wouldn’t make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent me, the Father. That fulfills the conditions set down in God’s Law: that you can count on the testimony of two witnesses. And that is what you have: You have my word and you have the word of the Father who sent me.”
19 They said, “Where is this so-called Father of yours?”
Jesus said, “You’re looking right at me and you don’t see me. How do you expect to see the Father? If you knew me, you would at the same time know the Father.”
20 He gave this speech in the Treasury while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him because his time wasn’t yet up.
21 Then he went over the same ground again. “I’m leaving and you are going to look for me, but you’re missing God in this and are headed for a dead end. There is no way you can come with me.”
22 The Jews said, “So, is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by ‘You can’t come with me’?”
23-24 Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You’re at a dead end. If you won’t believe I am who I say I am, you’re at the dead end of sins. You’re missing God in your lives.”
25-26 They said to him, “Just who are you anyway?”
Jesus said, “What I’ve said from the start. I have so many things to say that concern you, judgments to make that affect you, but if you don’t accept the trustworthiness of the One who commanded my words and acts, none of it matters. That is who you are questioning—not me but the One who sent me.”
27-29 They still didn’t get it, didn’t realize that he was referring to the Father. So Jesus tried again. “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”
30 When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe.
God sent His One and Only Son down to earth to be Light in the darkness, to pay for our sin, to rise again, to be seen as the Light of unconditional love, to be known as the Messiah, the alive conquering Savior! Don’t miss God in all this. Go to the Light! Be a reflection of His Light to others.
Dear Heavenly Father, How foolish we are to stumble around in the dark when the Light is up ahead, waiting to show us the way, accepting us as we are then guiding us to Life through a Love we cannot seem to grasp deeply enough. I love you with all my heart, mind and soul. I pray for friends and family who need you. I pray for those who hurt us because of our belief in you. Continue to be our strength and our song all day long. May we also take joy in pleasing You. In Jesus Name, Amen
“The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.” –Jesus