Needless to say, it didn’t take long for news about Jesus to spread. Some people came for the miracles. Others came to hear what the latest new rabbi on the block had to say. As we’ve already seen, when Jesus went into the Temple to teach, some labeled His teaching as blasphemy. Other Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters [the Old Testament scrolls], having never studied?”
Jesus answered them and said, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him is true, and no unrighteousness is in Him” (Jn. 7:14-18).
Who is this Man, indeed! God the Father calls Him the Sun of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2). To the Samaritan woman at the well, He is living water. Yet that living water is meant to refresh many. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:37-39).
At yet another visit to the Temple, the religious leaders brought a woman caught in adultery to see what Jesus would say in terms of the Law. One has to wonder why the leaders didn’t also bring the man, since it takes two to tango—if you get my drift. You probably know this story, too. Jesus kneels down and writes something on the dusty floor of the Temple court. Scripture doesn’t reveal what He wrote, but it did prick the leaders’ conscience. None of them dared to cast the first stone. “And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’ Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’ ” (John 8:11-12).
That light is meant to change how we live. “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life’ ” (John 12:46). That light of life in us is meant to be shared. “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness” (Luke 11:33-35).
The Chronos Lesson: Note the connection between the condition of the eye and the lamp’s usefulness. The condition of the eye depends on how much we are focused on Christ. This doesn’t mean we ignore the lawlessness, deceit, and darkness around us in these last times. It is to be expected as the end of this age comes to a close. In that sense, it shouldn’t shake us. We know how it all turns out!
Yet our ability to share the light of our testimony with others can be overshadowed when we focus our attention on the darkness. We don’t ignore it. Instead, we acknowledge a higher truth: light always dispels darkness. Even a little match in a darkened room will allow you to lead others out of the darkness. But if we allow the world’s condition to overshadow our lit match, we won’t be much help.
Note, too, that light isn’t meant to bring condemnation to those who are lost in darkness. They don’t need to be told how dark their hearts are. Deep down inside, they know, even if they try to suppress in public (Rom. 1:18-20). There is a reason why faith, hope, and love abide (1 Cor. 13:13). People in darkness need to see the reason for our faith, and how it makes a difference in our lives. Those who have lost hope need to see the reason for our hope. And those who feel unloved and rejected need to see the power of Christ’s love in us. They need to see these things, and not just hear us talk about them. To the world, seeing is believing.
We must remember that even though we have a reborn spirit, our soul needs to be renewed according to the Word. Our thinking and our emotions have to be trained. The only way we can be light and quench the thirst of others is to walk by the Spirit instead of our fleshly, unrenewed reactions. The best way to be alert to the leading and empowering of the Spirit in us is to spend time fellowshipping with the Spirit. How do we do this? By reading and meditating on God’s Word. Through praise and worship that exalts God. By praying in the Spirit, which by the way, is one of our pieces of spiritual armor.
There is an interesting passage in the book of Jude about these times. “But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (verses 17-19).
The next verse begins with the word “but.” It is a conjunction. It joins the idea being expressed in the verses above with the next few verses. It’s easy to miss the connection. But we must make it because it shows us the power of praying in the Spirit, especially at this time.
“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” (verses 20-23). Praying in the Spirit builds up our awareness of the spiritual realm. It makes it easier to get a word of knowledge and wisdom as to how to answer people. In some cases, the word that will capture their heart is one of compassion; in other cases it is a powerful word of truth that will jar them loose from their deception.