Once we are in the light, why do we stray back into the darkness? In living a spiritual life, why do we judge according to the flesh? Why can’t we acknowledge the Triune God?
12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “ I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” 13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “ You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.” 14 Jesus answered and said to them, “ Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.17 Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.”
There are three main points I can pick out of today’s passage.
Jesus is the light
We see this throughout the scriptures but specifically in John’s writings. He is the Light of the world. I think we take this for granted. Maybe we don’t quite understand the gravity of this statement, because we have never seen the importance of light in the darkness. Maybe we struggle to create our own light and temporarily think that it is remedied, only for it to burn out or fade away. Jesus, however, is the eternal and never fading Light and if we focus on Him, the darkness will never be an issue. I’ve been realizing lately how easy it is for us to get distracted by the darkness around us and stop focusing on the light, taking it for granted that it is there. We start peering around into the darkness wondering if we are missing anything, if our old ways are still there waiting for us to return, or even if we made the right choice. Why do we wander back into the darkness?
Humans judge according to the flesh
I’ve realized a lot lately that as humans, we judge people on their actions. Half the time, we have no idea why someone does what they do, we just know what they do or have done and judge them accordingly. This is a tough topic for some Christians and I must admit, is difficult for me to swallow sometimes. You see, God cares about our heart condition. We all make mistakes. Furthermore we become products of our environment. Let’s take a brutal murderer, for example. A guy cuts someone up into pieces and gets caught. The majority of our society would want to burn him at the stake. What if, however, we discover there is a history of abuse, mistreatment from parents and foster parents, and other factors that would make us understand a little bit more as to why someone would do what he did. Does it make it right? No, however we can have a little more compassion for someone if we understand that as a result of his childhood, he had a flashback and mentally broke down. Something I learned over and over again in Celebrate Recovery is: you can’t really love someone until you know their story. What is Jesus saying here? Plainly: don’t judge a book by its cover.
The Triune God
Now here, Jesus is only speaking of 2 out of the 3 elements that make up the Triune God. He explains that Jesus the Son and God the Father are two separate beings, yet at the same time one in the same. You see, the Pharisees were trying to discredit Jesus by saying that He is just a man tooting His own horn, but Jesus explains, however, that there is more to it than that. This is where judging by the flesh comes in. On the outside, we se a regular man, but they do not know what He possesses on the inside. They do not know or recognize that He is the Son of God or to take that one step further: God Himself. I have had people talk to me about Jesus as a man who was revered as God. This is not it at all. Rather, it is God humbling Himself as a man and quite frankly if we can’t believe that God could do something like that, then we don’t really believe in an omnipotent and all powerful God. Is Jesus just a man or is He God incarnate?