Light is attractive, so is Jesus. John 1.6-9
Listen to the podcast: https://www.pastorwoman.net/podcast/episode/e516de8c/light-is-attra...
I see it all the time . . . mention faith to someone and they say ‘I’m not really a religious person.’ To which I respond, ‘no, me neither. But I am rather fond of Jesus . . .’ and then we’re off! Unfortunately, the Church has given Jesus a bad name.
But Jesus was attractive, and he still is. People would walk for miles to hear him teach and stay without food into the dark. Attractive, Jesus.
John the gospel writer tells of another John; we call him ‘the Baptist’ or ‘the baptizer.’ Some 700 years before, Isaiah prophesies of his coming and purpose1 - to prepare the way for the Messiah. From John chapter one: There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 2
By all standards, John-the-Baptist was a most unique man--chosen by God for a particular purpose—to get people’s attention that they needed to repent of their sins—to make them aware that Jesus was coming on the scene. Apparently, God had a keen eye for marketing with the wild and wooly, outspoken cousin of Jesus being the one to point the way to him.
John, the beloved disciple, emphasizes two themes in these several verses, those of light and life, which replay throughout this beautiful gospel. It does not just begin with life! but it also ends with it—turn to John 20.31--But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Interestingly enough, John then imbues this ‘life’ with greater significance by saying that it is also ‘light’. While darkness is the absence of light, it also symbolizes everything that is not light—evil, injustice, sin, ignorance, and unbelief. Jesus is the light that shines in the darkness … hmmmm, yes. Light is stronger than darkness and overcomes it.
One thing I know about light is that it attracts. Jesus attracts. Religion repels, but Jesus attracts. Man-made constructs divide, but Jesus unites. Reminds me of the man, Charles Templeton, who was a contemporary of the young Billy Graham in the 1950s and 60s, but later denounced his Christian faith. In an interview conducted while in his 80s, knowing he did not have long to live, Templeton had this to say about the Jesus he had walked away from:
“He was the greatest human being who has ever lived. He was a moral genius. His ethical sense was unique. He was the intrinsically wisest person that I’ve ever encountered in my life or in my reading. His commitment was total and led to his own death, much to the detriment of the world.”
The interviewer, Lee Strobel, commented, “You sound like you really care about him.”
“Well, yes,” Templeton acknowledged, “he’s the most important thing in my life.” He stammered: “I . . . I . . . I adore him . . . Everything good I know, everything decent I know, everything pure I know, I learned from Jesus.”
Strobel was stunned. He listened in shock. He says that Templeton’s voice began to crack. He then said, “I . . . miss . . . him!” With that the old man burst into tears; with shaking frame, he wept bitterly.3
People do not forget the feeling of light… of life… of love… or who brought it into their lives. Just give people Jesus.
There are some needs only you can see.
There are some hands only you can hold.
There are some people only you can reach.4
Dear Father, please remind us to point those near us to you, to offer to pray for those who hurt. Remind us to be the conduit to you! Amen
1 Isaiah 40
2 John 1.6-9, NASB
3 Strobel’s interview with Templeton quoted on www.christiancourier.com
4 Tim Keller’s Instagram, 6.30.20