Imagine yourself in a dark room. You begin to move around, only to bang your knee against an obstacle. You reach out with your hands to try and feel your way around, but the objects that surround you are unfamiliar and placed erratically. What happens in your imagination? Do you begin to conjure up layout for the room in your mind – build a speculative image in your mind of what the obstacles are that surround you? Do you then use that fabricated layout to start your journey through the room?
Now imagine that you stumble on a flashlight – turn it on. Suddenly everything you had dreamed up in your mind about the room and it’s contents gets rearranged – suddenly you can see and things begin to make more sense. You move from your speculative surmising into the way things really are.
We’re continuing our study in the Gospel of John, reading chapter 8:12-30 this Sunday.
Jesus describes himself as light. Thinking of our example above, in what way is Jesus light – specifically the light of life?
In the passage we’ll be reading, Jesus does his best to illuminate the way things really are for the religious leaders – but to no avail. He illuminates the reality that the Father is right there with them, bearing witness to who Jesus is, but they can’t see it. How does that enlighten us about where God the Father is right now? What does that mean to our lives?
Jesus warns them that unless they believe in him, they will die in their sins. He’s likely forecasting the destruction of Jerusalem, but also the larger concept of where a life outside of God’s plan leads. He is illuminating their peril, but also the path of salvation. What is it? What does it tell us about the kind of life Jesus is illuminating for us?
Lastly, as the religious leaders continue to judge Jesus, he tells them that when he’s lifted up (an allusion to his crucifixion), they will know who he really is. Whether they believe on him is another story. How does Jesus’ death on the cross reveal who he is? What does his death for humanity demonstrate about God’s nature and will? What does that mean to our own lives, as we seek to live in the light that Jesus casts?
Hope to see you this Sunday – now go finish your Christmas shopping!