Wednesday 28 April 2010

Bible Book:

"I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness." (v.46)

John 12:41-50 Wednesday 28 April 2010


John's Gospel is made up of a series of signs and discourses.Jesus feeds the 5,000 (John6:5-15) and a discourse follows in which he speaks of himselfas the bread of life. Lazarus is raised from the dead (John11:1-45) and there follows a conversation in which Jesus isdescribed as the resurrection and the life. Today's passage comesat the end of those signs and discourses and immediately beforewhat are known as the 'Farewell Discourses' (chapters 13-17).

These verses reiterate themes that are common throughout John'sGospel. The first of these is that what Jesus does and says mirrorsthe thoughts and the actions of God. The second is that it is Godwho judges humanity on the basis of whether or not they believe inJesus. Finally there is the contrast between light and darkness.This contrast is not simply about the difference between havingaccess to a source of light to counteract the darkness, there aremoral and spiritual overtones as well.

The darkness is for those who do not have faith in Jesus. Those whoaccept the light will live and act in a different way because theirlives are dominated by the knowledge of God. In these few versestherefore, John brings together some of the key ideas within hisGospel before beginning the Passion story (detailing the sufferingand death of Christ).

Reading John can sometimes make us feel like we are going incircles because of the involved way he writes, but what he saysabout Jesus as the light offers a holistic view of faith.

John is very clear that if someone is to be 'in the light' this isabout a personal relationship with God which then has to bepractised in the way we live. It is the same as the Methodistnotion of there being "no holiness without social holiness". WhatJohn's teaching about light suggests is that our devotional life -our personal relationship with God - needs to include a concern forsocial justice and a living out of the gospel (the good news ofJesus) in practical ways.

To Ponder

In what ways can you put your prayers ofintercession (prayer for others) into action?

In what ways does the idea of Jesus as the lighthelp you to understand and share your faith in the contemporaryworld?

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