“Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” – John 12:35-36
A significant portion of Jesus’ public ministry concerned itself with how Jesus was or was not recognized by those he encountered. Those closest to him, the disciples, didn’t always seem to grasp fully who they were traveling with – sometimes even after witnessing and taking part in amazing miracles and manifestations of power. The crowds that Jesus preached to and taught were the same. Some of them understood and followed, while others reacted with skepticism and doubt.
In the longer passage that includes today’s scripture, Jesus is talking to a crowd that has gathered after he has entered Jerusalem, and he is telling them that he will be lifted up and will draw all the world to him. Just moments before this pronouncement, a voice from heaven audibly spoke to Jesus! And still, the crowd peppered him with questions, including “who is this Son of Man?” The Son of Man was in their midst and they didn’t even see it!
Jesus’ response to their questions comes in the verses we are focusing on today: walk in the light, not in the darkness. “While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” (John 12:36) They had the opportunity to experience the light of Christ and it was not to be missed.
In this season of Lent, we have a similar opportunity. We are confronted by many voices and challenged by the world around us. And if we are not careful, we run the same risk as the crowd that gathered with Jesus on that day. We may find ourselves walking away from the light and walking in darkness. Lent is a chance for us to slow down, refocus our lives and make sure that we are walking in the light. The light of Christ has come. As our Lenten journey continues, may we walk in that light, and share it with a world consumed by darkness, so that they, too, can become children of light.
God of light and love, open our eyes anew to your brilliant and all-consuming light. May that light so fill our lives, that all darkness within us is driven out. Let your light shine through us, that all the world may be drawn to you. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jay Locklear is a member of Lea’s Chapel UMC