Thursday Morning: 14 Feb 2019 – John 12:34-50 ~ Jesus: light in a world of darkness

Thursday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 12:34-50 (NLT)

Jesus Predicts His Death (Continued)

The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.

The Unbelief of the People

But despite all the miraculous signs Jesus had done, most of the people still did not believe in him. This is exactly what Isaiah the prophet had predicted:

“Lord, who has believed our message? To whom has the Lord revealed his powerful arm?”

But the people couldn’t believe, for as Isaiah also said,

“The Lord has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts—so that their eyes cannot see, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and have me heal them.”

Isaiah was referring to Jesus when he said this, because he saw the future and spoke of the Messiah’s glory. Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.

Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. For when you see me, you are seeing the one who sent me. I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark. I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it. But all who reject me and my message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken. I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say.”
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Morning Reflection:

Jesus: light in a world of darkness

In today’s reading, Jesus uses the metaphor “light in the darkness” to describe his God-given mission. Earlier he declared himself to be “the Light of the World” (John 8:12), and he continues that theme as he addresses the crowd gathered in Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover.

But what does that have to do with us? Let’s see –

“Put your trust in the light while there is still time;
then you will become children of the light.” – John 12:36

+ Time is of the essence – Jesus was speaking specifically of his time left on earth, but it’s also true for us today. The clock is ticking until we go to meet Jesus, or Jesus returns to meet us in all his glory.

+ The world is enveloped in spiritual and moral darkness – Satan, the ruler of this world, delivers deception, distortion, death, destruction, and blindness in an attempt to extinguish the loving-kindness and goodness of God.

+ Spiritual and moral darkness disorient us – We don’t know who we are, or where we’re going. The darkness creates a kind of spiritual vertigo – where up is down and down is up – that results in lives spinning out of control, filled with chaos and confusion.

+ Spiritual and moral darkness threaten to overcome us – We get used to living in darkness where deception and distortion replace truth, death and destruction replace life, and spiritual and moral blindness become our new normal.

“I have come as a light to shine in this dark world,
so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.”
– John 12:46

Jesus’ appeal is to us:

+ To trust him, the light of the world – Faith in Jesus involves believing that he is who he says he is, and the world around us is what he says it is. Trusting him involves following him, even when it makes no sense to us and we don’t know where we’re going.

+ To become children of light – Becoming children of light is a process through which we grow ever brighter through faith and trust. It’s not just a matter of having a light to see where we’re going, it’s also a matter of radiating the life of Christ in us to others. In other words, to let our little light shine.

+ To live forever in the light – Our choice to trust and obey, or reject and ignore has eternal consequences. Jesus has come to save us from judgement. Rejection leads to judgement.

“For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.”
– John 12:43

Questions for consideration:

  • Do you believe that the world around you is spiritually and morally blind? How does that affect you? Please explain.
  • If you were to publicly declare that you are a follower of Jesus, how would that affect your relationships – with your family? with your friends? with your neighbors? with your coworkers or associates? Please explain.
  • How would living as a child of the light affect your behavior, your choices, your lifestyle? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus: Every day is a new adventure walking as a child of the Light. Fill us with joy and wonder as we discover afresh your beauty, your loving-kindness, and your goodness in this dark world. Fill us with your Spirit that we might radiate your light and life to those around us. Our hope is in you, Lord; you alone have the words of eternal life. Amen.
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“Light of the World” – Tim Hughes

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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