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Lovers of Light – John 12:35-50

This post is part of an ongoing series in the study of John we are doing during January. Subscribe to the blog for daily updates in the Bible Study posts. Subscribe to the podcasts to hear our discussion of the book of John throughout this month. Join us in your daily devotions as we travel through this fascinating account of the life of Christ.

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Then Jesus said to them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. John 12:35-36 (NKJV)

The word light appears 25 times in the Gospel of John, its final mention in this passage. Conversely, John mentions darkness nine times. The unveiling of these words is in the incredible introduction that we covered earlier in this study of the gospel.

Darkness is the inability to see the truth, to find our way, to know the right things to be, do, and seek. Those who walked in darkness did not believe in Jesus because they could not see the truth. On the other hand, light is the ability to see, believe, and behold the glory of God.

But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?” Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.” These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. John 12:37-41

The inability to believe in the truth is blindness, hard-heartedness, and darkness. This is the pathway of lives lived in perpetual brokenness. We may mask the brokenness, but we are broken unless we find true healing through the light. Healing comes only when we turn our hearts, through an act of faith, to believing, seeing, and knowing the Light of God.

Then Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. John 12:44-48 (NKJV)

The world is often offended by the message of Christ. It is offended by His absolutism, exclusivity, and singular standards. Jesus did not present a “Can’t we all just get along message.” He presented the truth. The truth was that there is darkness, and there is light. We cannot say we want light and yet walk in the darkness. We cannot say we genuinely want deliverance from the darkness and yet refuse to believe in the light. The fears, obstacles, and offenses that hold us to the darkness rather than leaping toward the light only reveal that our heart loves the darkness more than the light.

Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. John 12:42-43 (NKJV)

It is worth asking ourselves today, am I a lover of the light or a lover of the darkness? Do I pursue truth and believe at all costs, or do I hold back for the sake of some darkness in this world?

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JB Shreve

JB Shreve is the host of the JB Shreve podcast and the End of History podcast channels. He is the author of multiple books.

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