The art below is “Jesus and Nicodemus” from the Jesus Mafa collection. This collection of paintings of the life of Christ was an initiative undertaken in the 1970s to help teach the gospel in Northern Cameroon.
The story of the conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus holds some very memorable sayings, like John 3.16–perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible.
But today, I want to draw your attention to the end of the interview. Read John 3.17-21.
“Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
Today (as the Pharisees and others did in Jesus’ day) some people use their faith like a weapon. They silence those with different opinions. They judge some as unworthy or less than based on their interpretations of Scripture. They have a verse ready for anyone who disagrees with them or how lives a different way.
But is this the way Jesus intended? From the Scripture above, it seems clear to me that Jesus intended our faith to be not a weapon but a guiding light. How do you use your faith? Mentally, do we use our faith to judge or dismiss people? Do we use it to justify our actions? Verbally, when you are talking about your faith, or when you refer to it in conversations, are you using it to judge someone or to make a comment (read ‘judgment’) on their behavior? In your actions, are you spreading light or darkness?
DO THIS TODAY TO FOLLOW JESUS: Share God’s light in your world. Say things and do things that shine the light of God. Be a bearer of light and not darkness. What would that mean in your situation?
PRAY THIS PRAYER: God, we have enough darkness. Shine your light through me to those around me. May the things I do and the things I say reflect your light. Amen.