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October 13, 2011

Where's this light you speak of?


"The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him" (John 1:9-11). "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14 NIV 2011).


Can you imagine being in the presence of the "true light of the world" and not seeing it? Not recognizing? Not seeing it for what it really is? Can you imagine being in front of "the Word made flesh" and knowing who it really was you were with?


Mind boggling. 


Or is it? Do you see glory around you today? Maybe you have reminisced about some previous encounter only to realize how special it was after the fact. I feel like it's more common to know who special something was only after it has passed. The old cliche, "You don't know how special something that you have is until it's gone" is fitting here.


Do you see the "true light of the world" around you today? Do you see how special your loved ones are around you (i.e your spouse, your children, your friends)? Do you value your job? Your situation or circumstance? Maybe we need new eyes, a new perspective to see the beauty and blessing around us.


In John 3 we read about Nicodemus. Nicodemus is a religious teacher and part of the Jewish Ruling Council. From knowing about his position we can probably deduce that Nicodemus has grown up his entire life learning about God's law and has shown exemplary skills in reciting it and knowing it well.


Nicodemus, we're told, visits Jesus in the night to talk with him. We're not really told why he went to talk to Jesus. There could have been any number of reasons why Nicodemus sought Jesus at night. And he starts the conversation in an odd way too. He says, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come to God....." Usually when I approach someone for the first time in an unfashionable matter I usually don't come at them with a statement. I'd probably start out with a question.


Jesus replies to Nicodemus' seemingly oddly fashioned statement with his own seemingly odd statement, "no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again" (v.3).


Nicodemus replies (pardon my paraphrase), "What? huh? It's not possibly to be born again." Nicodemus was clearly thinking about the literal meaning to "be born again." However Jesus wasn't talking about literal birth, he has really talking about spiritual birth.


Nicodemus missed the point. He didn't even see who was really in front of him. Did you think Nicodemus knew that Jesus was the light of world that he snuck out to see? Nicodemus had worldly eyes and a literal perspective. Do you have worldly eyes and too often on a literal perspective on things?


May you have new eyes to see the glory and light that is around you this day and everyday. May you have a new heightened perspective on life and of Jesus. The language of the world and of heaven is the same, but each can lead you to very different conclusions. May you have wisdom to discern which is which.


Amen.

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