Into the Night

I tell folks when they read the Bible to read it slowly. Don’t rush through. It’s not a race.

Read slowly.  Listen.  Pay attention.  See what God may be saying to you through the words you are reading.  Something will jump out to you. Something will grab you. Something will say – look there!  That’s important!

I was reading this morning in John on this Wednesday of Holy Week went something jumped out to me.  I was reading the text where Judas left to betray, when I saw something I’d never really noticed before. Listen to John’s Gospel:

Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

Lots of stuff there, but what got me was that last sentence – “Judas left at once, going into the night.”

In John’s Gospel, light and darkness are big deals.  Jesus is the light.  He is the light of the world.  He is called light over and over and over again.  He is the light that has come forth into the world to shine God’s goodness and mercy and salvation.

And, likewise, where there is no light, there is darkness. And darkness is where we don’t want to be.  Darkness is apart from Jesus.  Darkness is sin and evil and destruction. Listen to what John says in chapter 3:19, “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.”

Light has come.  But people loved the dark more than the light. They loved their sin more than His life. They loved their way more than His way.

So, today, what did Judas do – He left Jesus and went into the night.  Into the darkness.  To betray.

Today, you will have choices to make. Will you leave Jesus and go into the darkness?  Into the darkness of sin?  Of lust?  Hate?  Pride?  Greed?  Anger?  Judgement?  Rage?  Will you leave the side of your savior and walk into the night?

We are called to be the children of light, not of darkness.  May we not go chasing after the dark places.  May we stick by Jesus’ side. May we not wander into the night.

Light versus Dark

As those of you that have heard me preach on the subject know, I’m just fascinated by the concept of light and darkness.  Maybe that comes from my background in chemistry.  Maybe I’m just a geek. Who knows?

But, we do know this. There is no such thing as darkness.  Darkness doesn’t exist. It is simply the absence of light.

So, when light enters in, the darkness vanishes.  It doesn’t have a choice. When there is light, there simply is no darkness. It cannot abide where there is light.

So, when we realize that, listen to the words of John 1:

5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.

He is talking about Jesus.  Jesus is the Light from God. And His light drives out all the darkness.

And I’m not just talking about darkness in a big picture sense. We know He will win the battle over evil one day. I’m talking about darkness on an individual level.

When His light enters in to the darkness, it drive the darkness out of the areas of our lives.

So, in that, where is there darkness in our lives? Where is that area of our lives, of our souls where darkness reigns?

Where is there hate. . . . pride. . . . .lust. . . . .whatever. . . . .

And in these areas, have we let the light of Christ enter in?

When we let that light of Christ into these areas, He drives out the darkness.  Darkness cannot remain where light is.  And He is the Light of the world.

Have we let His light into our lives?  Have we let it shine?  Have we given it to Him?

His light will drive out the darkness.

May He do so in our lives.