DayBreaks for 2/22/17: Searching for the Light
NOTE from Galen: Sorry about the inconsistent delivery of DayBreaks lately. We’ve been battling internet issues (still are)!
John 18:2-3 (NIV) – Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the grove, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
Oh, my goodness! How many times, O Lord, have I read this passage and not seen it? Sometimes the most amazing truths of scripture are in the most innocent and innocuous phrases and words. The passage, of course, describes the horrible moment when Judas leads the soldiers and officials out from Jerusalem, across the Kidron valley, to the garden of Gethsemane to earn his 30 pieces of silver for betraying Jesus. It is not Judas alone – but an attachment of soldiers (quite a few according to the other gospel accounts.) But that’s what I’ve always known…but notice the last sentence: “They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.”
Do you see the great irony? Loaded with torches and lanterns, they go seeking for the One who is the Light of the World. How many lessons are here? I don’t know, but here’s a few thoughts:
FIRST: it is easier to see light in the darkness. It would have been easier to find Jesus if they had put their own lights out long ago and heard the seen the message that was Jesus. “The light shines in the darkness” John had written. He wasn’t in hiding. The darker the night the brighter the light shines. On this night, the light was at its brightest, even as darkness raged in the flickering shadows.
SECOND: they carried weapons. We know they had at least one sword among them – and almost certainly, many more than one. But the deadliest weapons they carried that night weren’t swords and spears, but hatred, prejudice, learnedness, jealousy and envy. Those are the weapons that take lives away from the living and leave them as walking corpses!
THIRD: Jesus was not in hiding. They didn’t need to search for him. They didn’t need the lanterns and torches to find him, not really. Lanterns and torches are merely aids to help feeble human eyes to get past the darkness, to be able to apprehend what is at the edge of our vision. What is it that we bring when we search for Him? Are we bringing armfuls of human creations, human reasonings as we come looking for the Light of the World? Would we not be better to come, as the old song put it: “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to thy cross I cling”? What we need most to bring to Jesus is not the light of human mind or thought, nor even human will, but to simply bring our darkness and the night of our blighted souls to Him to be seen and healed by the Light Himself.
PRAYER: God, we are so evil and wicked. And sometimes we come to Jesus armed with all sorts of human creations, even those we have made to make ourselves look or seem more presentable to You. Help us to understand that what you wish us to bring to the Light of the world is our darkness, to leave it with Jesus and to remain in the Light all the days of our lives. Forgive us for our foolish pretension and prideful arrogance. May we come to you humbly in our brokenness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.