Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Gospel According to the Inner Circle, Pt. 2: The Light of God

Yochanan uses another term in his first chapter to describe Yeshua: He calls Him “the Light,” and says that He “lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (v. 9). The same phrase is used throughout the Talmud and Rabbinical literature to mean literally “every single person.” For example, in the rhetorical question, “Doth not the sun rise upon all that come into the world?” But if Yeshua truly lights every single person on earth, why then do so many reject Him?

The answer is not in the insufficiency of His Light, but the wickedness in the heart of Man. Fast-forward to John 3:19-21 for a moment:
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Have you ever noticed that you can present Yeshua with the greatest of humility and love, and many people will still get angry, cut off conversation, stalk off, or even call names. (“Intolerant” is the catchphrase of choice of the political left.) Of course, sometimes we goof and come across as judgmental know-it-alls, so we have to continually recheck ourselves in the Light of God’s Word (Psa. 119:105)—but even when that’s not the case, even when we do everything right and in the Spirit, anger and rejection is often the result of our witness. Not because we necessarily did anything wrong, but because they are fleeing God’s Light.

I have a good friend who is a staunch agnostic (and doesn’t that seem like a contradiction in terms?). He’s very intelligent, and one of the most generous people I know. He’s been supportive and even spent a couple of years in a Bible study I was doing, but he’s been very careful to avoid coming to any conclusions that might cause him to have to change his life.

One day, out of the blue (and I mean literally out of the blue—there was absolutely no lead-up to this), he snapped at me, “And if you tell me that I’m going to hell, then that’s the end of our friendship! It’s over!”

“Have I ever said that to you?” I asked. “Have you ever known me to take that approach?” He admitted that I had not. “So where did that come from?” I asked. He didn’t have an answer. I believe that the source of his outburst was ultimately spiritual, not emotional or intellectual—that is to say, the Spirit was convicting him of sin, and righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8), and he was reacting to that, not to anything I’d said to him. He was running from the Light, from Yeshua HaMashiach.

I pray that someday he stops running, and finds the true rest for his soul.

Yeshua is God’s Word, both the perfect expression of His Being and the means by which He created and interacts with His universe, and this Word is both with God and is God from eternity. He is also God’s Light, showing the true hearts of men, whether they love righteousness or evil. And He is our Savior, our Priest, our Prophet, and our King forevermore.

Amen, and Shalom.

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