Wednesday, April 22, 2020
I don’t remember the specific first time I heard it, but I remember hearing it frequently back in my youth. Perhaps it was a teacher in school, or maybe one of my memorable Sunday School teachers. I do remember that the first time I heard it said to me it made perfect sense, and the explanation that followed helped me understand what was confusing me at the time.
“Let me shed some light on that.”
The idiom “shed some light” originated in Europe sometime before the invention of electricity. Before this modern invention, people would use light from candles to see around their homes in the dark. This became known as “shedding light.” The light from the candle provided a way for them to see clearly in the dark.
John 1:6-8 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.”
Every day we are bombarded with messages from social media, news media, politicians, economists, doctors, and many more. Each messenger claims to have light to shed on an important subject. But if it were real light, wouldn’t what is revealed by the light be consistent? Does the light they shed really clear up the darkness and confusion?
Are we ready to admit that the “light” most of us want to shed on the subjects of life are primarily influenced by personal experience and personal preference, rather than truth? The things we want to say are meant to influence others to agree with our position.
Not so with John the Baptist, described as a witness in the Scripture passage above. Notice two absolutely crucial truths:
- John the Baptist was NOT the light.
- John the Baptist was a witness to the light, and shifted the focus from himself to the ONE who was the Light.
Today, in this world of darkness, with many witnesses to what they think is light, we are called to shed light on the Light. Not many, if any, are qualified to shed true light on the darkness around us, and even if we believe we are qualified, the light we attempt to shed tainted by the pride we carry.
We, as disciples of Jesus Christ, are called to point all the attention to the True Light – Jesus. Every piece of information we share about what is happening in the world should carry the Light of Jesus in it.
We are not the Light. But we are able to bear witness about the Light. It’s the only way the Light will be seen in the darkness around us. Point people to Jesus. Let His life bring light to their darkness.