“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life'” (John 8:12).
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF HISTORY, LIGHT AND DARKNESS HAVE BEEN UNIVERSAL SYMBOLS. Light stands for truth/goodness; darkness stands for untruth/evil. When Jesus said He was the “light of the world,” He was claiming to be the only truth through which the darkness of evil can be dispelled. If it was untruth that led us away from God, we can’t come back to Him without coming back to the truth. So Jesus boldly said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
To receive God’s forgiveness, we must believe the truth found in His Son, Jesus Christ. Certainly, we must embrace the truth of who Jesus is. But we must also believe the truth that Jesus revealed about God, His Father. And what is more, we must accept the truth about ourselves and our need for reconciliation with God. The joyful truth about God’s salvation will have little impact if we haven’t digested the sorrowful truth about our alienation from Him.
Both the sinful truth about ourselves and the saving truth about God require honesty and courage. We must be willing to know the truth (this requires honesty), and we must be willing to obey the truth (this requires courage). At all costs, the truth must be accepted — the truth must be acted upon, no matter how hard it is. And for this very reason, not many people are willing to be saved by the truth. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil” (John 3:19).
Many of us have been quick to point out the failures of other people’s honesty and courage. But what about us? Even more to the point, what about me personally? Am I willing to hear whatever I need to hear, and am I willing to go wherever I need to go?
Confronted by the Great Physician (both His diagnosis and His treatment plan), a bold choice has to be made. We can have the comfort of staying in denial (and be lost) or we can accept the discomfort of the truth (and be saved). Initially, reality can be hard to deal with. But our only alternative is to stay in denial and die in sin.
“Darkness is my point of view, my right to myself; light is God’s point of view” (Oswald Chambers).