Bringing light into dark places

Everything will be brought to light

Matthew 10:24–28

The ambassadors of Jesus

40 Blogs of Lent: Day 7

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Matthew 10:24–28

Far side of the moon
The far side of the moon seen from Apollo 13

No one had ever seen the so-called dark side of the moon. In fact, the moon has no dark side in the sense of a side unlit by the sun, the dark side of the sun was dark in the sense of unseen, the moon has one side always facing towards the earth. No one had ever seen the far side.

That changed when the crew of Apollo 8, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, on Christmas Eve 1968, flew around the far side of the moon. What had been hidden was revealed. What was dark was brought to light.

It is to be expected

Jesus was talking to his disciples about going out to preach and heal. He said that being mistreated, even being called devils was something to be expected, because the same happened to him. In a parallel passage in John’s Gospel (John 10:19–21) Jesus caused division, some saying he had a demon whilst others asking if a demon could heal the blind. Jesus divided people. If we are following him we should expect to be treated the same way.

Have no fear

Saying “Have no fear” when telling the disciples that they and generations of Christians after them will face hate, persecution and slander, even death for following him: Just what is Jesus saying here?

Jesus brings light. Darkness is the absence of light, even a small candle reveals things in a dark rule, Jesus brings a searchlight,  revealing everything. As Christians, we are here to bring the light of Jesus into a dark world.

John, as ever, has a different insight into this in his Gospel: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, Jesus tells us of the persecution that will happen, that is currently happening, So that as John says we can have peace or as Matthew says so that we do not fear it.

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Everything is brought to light

Nothing is hidden from Jesus. He knows the deep persecution that his people are enduring. By being honest in our dealings with others we expose the dishonesty of those who work for their own benefit. At the end, when Jesus Christ returns to Earth in glory all the double-dealings and ulterior motives will be revealed. In the present age as we wait for Christ we suffer at the hand of those who fear honesty as well as those who are opposed to the Gospel of Christ. But our hope is not in that Jesus will overcome the world, our hope in Jesus is that he has already overcome the world.

Don’t fear them, fear me

God has power over life, other people can only kill the body. Jesus said that those who follow him will be given new bodies, spiritual bodies, heavenly bodies and be with him forever. Those who do the work of God have nothing to fear either from men or from God.

Those who do not do the will of God, however, have everything to fear. You need to fear men when you do not have the security of eternal life: Death is a big thing when it is the end. And fear God. God can destroy the soul as well as the body.

In God justice, truth, grace and love are held together. God’s justice demands a price be paid for things that hurt him and things that hurt other people. God’s truth means that he hates the lies of men. God’s grace means that God has made a way that people who cling to Jesus, who live, figuratively, at the foot of the cross, do not get the punishment that they deserve, Jesus has paid the penalty. The love of God means we are set free, not only do we not get the punishment we deserve from a fair God. Not only is there no condemnation from God but we are set free from death and the power of evil and are alive in Jesus who is risen and ascended reigning at the Father’s side.

Have you been hiding from a God you see as vindictive? Come to Jesus, experience the love of God.


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