Insert text here.
John 3:19-21, NIV
19 "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."__________________________________________________________________________________
December 15, 2010This is the verdict, for Nicodemus and for us all. Nicodemus had come to Jesus at night, in secret, under cover of darkness. It's a lot easier to do questionable things when no one is watching. For Nicodemus, it was the likely repercussions he and his family would suffer from their peers if it were known that he might be interested in befriending Jesus, who was something of an enemy to those peers.
That which was judged to be good and proper among the crowd with whom Nicodemus associated, Jesus termed evil. The members of the religious governing council wore their religion on their sleeves, not in their hearts. In the Synoptic Gospels, Jesus called them white-washed sepulchers full of dead men's bones! He said they washed the outside of their cups, but failed to clean out the crud on the inside! They looked fine on the outside, but under that splendid veneer they were dirtier than the cheating tax collectors and the whoring prostitutes! And soon, in John's gospel, we are about to find out they were plotting the death of Jesus. In secret, of course.
The prophet Isaiah coined some very succinct words which summed up the condition of the Pharisees who confronted the dilemma of what to do about Jesus. They could be counted among the blind and deaf who "called evil good, and good evil!"
According to Jesus, Nicodemus would need to make a break. In order to live in the truth and light of God, he would have to come out of the darkness and walk in the brightness of noonday. So that all could see plainly that Nicodemus was a new creation, born anew of the spirit of God.It's one thing to profess righteousness, mercy and justice for all. It's another matter to live it--openly, honestly, wholeheartedly.
More journal entries
July 31, 1982We are judged by our choices, and are free to choose good or bad, darkness or light. We see again that Jesus holds up just two choices. And they are opposites. Didn't Jesus know that the dominate color of our lives is gray? And our favorite position is to straddle the fence!The more often I do something, the more familiar and comfortable it becomes to me. The more often I repeat a behavior, the more natural it seems and the more likely I am to do it again.
Choosing light then could become natural, and darkness unnatural. If darkness is more common than light, it seems more natural only because that is what I'm accustomed to doing. I believe many Christians are living in the middle where neither darkness nor light is comfortable, and they live in a terrible struggle, wanting the benefits and pleasures of both worlds. I know; I have been there.
The life Jesus talked about means setting my face in the direction of the light and taking a step and then more steps. Being drawn to God is one thing, leaving all to follow him is entirely something else.
November 22, 2001God loved the world so much that God has given his only son that whoever believes in him can have eternal life. God does not want to condemn the world. God wants to save the world. Nicodemus, the Jewish council, the poor homeless person, the small business owner, the rich man on Wall Street. God loves all of us and wants to save each one. But we must believe in order to receive the life Jesus offers. We must live in the truth and come into the light.
These are Jesus' final words to Nicodemus and it sounded something like this: Now, Nic, I'm going to tell you one more thing and then I'm done. You have a choice to make. God has sent light into the world. But men and women, including yourself, have chosen darkness instead . You've been living with evil attitudes, thoughts and deeds. But if you, Nicodemus, would stop deceiving yourself, if you decide to step out of the darkness, then you will discover the path God has prepared for you that will lead you into God's kingdom of light.