Thursday, October 29, 2020
As a young boy, I remember the “No! I am!” arguments with my brothers. Questions about strength, intelligence, capabilities, and skill were typically answered with the sibling rivalry response of “I am!” followed by “No! I am!”, resulting in an I am! shouting match. Children all seem to want to be identified as the best, the strongest, and the most skilled, and are quick to admit that they are.
In John 8:12, Jesus makes an “I am!” statement. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” The Pharisees argued with Him, and declared that His declaration was untrue. They chose not to believe that the Light they saw was the source of all Light. They denied the Deity of Jesus. They were threatened by what would happen if they believed. Rather than believe in the True Light, they chose to value artificial light – light they had created for their own benefit. Unfortunately, artificial light actually blinds us to the True Light.
Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matthew 6:22-23
John MacArthur explains it this way in his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew.
“The eye that is bad is the heart that is selfishly indulgent. The person who is materialistic and greedy is spiritually blind. Because he has no way of recognizing true light, he thinks he has light when he does not. What is thought to be light is therefore really darkness, and because of the self-deception, how great is the darkness!”
So the question we must all deal with is this: What sources of artificial light do you value enough that they replace Jesus as the source of all Light for your life? Money? Work performance? Marriage? Children? The accomplishments of your kids? Recreation? Your political views? The list could go on for a while. The point is that each one of us has an area in our lives, or more than one, that we use to add value to our life because we do not truly believe that Jesus is enough. When asked who is the true source of light for our life, we respond to Christ’s “I am!” by claiming “I am!”. We literally argue with Jesus because we prefer artificial light.
My friends, think deeply about this. Consider all the artificial light sources that exist in your life because you have chosen to believe that they bring value that Jesus cannot. Then repent by turning off every artificial light switch, and let the eternal Light of God shine in you through Jesus Christ our Lord. You will never be in the dark again.