The Gospel of John: Light and Darkness Revisited

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.” (John 12:35-36)

The themes of light and darkness are conspicuous in John’s writings (John 1:3-5; I John 1:5-7; 2:9-11). Light is synonymous with holiness and righteousness while darkness symbolizes the exact opposite: unholiness and unrighteousness.

Jesus exhorted the crowd to believe in Him as the Son of Man because He would not be with them much longer. If they did not believe, the darkness they were already in would overtake them. Jesus told them to believe in Him in order to truly become sons of holiness and righteousness.

Dr. R. C. Sproul explains that, “The crowd must grasp this while Jesus is with them so that they will not be overcome by the enemy later on. That is what He means when He says: “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you” (vv. 35–36). It will not be any easier to believe after Jesus is crucified and is resurrected from the dead. In fact, we know from the New Testament that persecution actually increases against the disciples of Jesus after His return to heaven. He is calling the crowd to trust in Him while He still walks the earth during His earthly ministry so that they will be prepared for the coming trial. When things get much harder for the followers of Christ, it will be much more difficult to believe because it will be evident that doing so will bring suffering.”

Dr. Sproul concludes by saying, “This call to walk in the light right now continues to apply to us two millennia after Jesus’ earthly ministry. We cannot think that it will be easier to believe in Christ tomorrow than it is today. In fact, eventually—when we die—it will be too late to trust Jesus if we have not yet done so. Thus, all of us must believe the gospel today.

John Calvin writes, “But all ought to walk cautiously, because contempt of the light is followed by darkness. This, too, is the reason why night is so thick and darkness sat down on the world for centuries. It was because there were few who deigned to walk in the brightness of heavenly wisdom; for Christ enlightens us by His Gospel in order that we may follow the way of salvation which He points out to us. For this reason, they who do not avail themselves of the grace of God extinguish, as far as lies in their power, the light which is offered to them.”

Walk in the light today.

Soli deo Gloria!

 

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