March 26, 2013

John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.
Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

You know that Pilate had never met any prisoner who responded like Jesus did! Jesus’ words shook him to his core, as is evident from what he did after this. However, his fear of man was greater than his new-found fear of God. Jesus’ words here challenge us as well. Do we belong to the truth, or do we love lies? This is the same issue that is brought up in John 3:19-21 using the terminology of light and darkness, rather than truth and lies. “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5) In modern times we have a lot of artificial light, and that applies in the spiritual sense as well as the physical. There’s nothing wrong with using electric lighting, but when we substitute humanistic “truth” for God’s Truth, we’re in deep trouble. There’s an interesting pun in Japanese, that “truth” sounds the same as “psychology,” even though they’re written differently. I’ve seen a lot of people who try to substitute psychology for the truth of God’s Word. I don’t know if you could really say that the darkness is really getting darker these days, but it’s certainly getting more aggressive! We are bombarded with words and images that do not belong to the truth, to the light, so we must be all the more careful to listen obediently to Jesus. Those who refuse the Gospel do not yet belong to the truth, so we should pray for them but not be personally offended by their rejection.

This is the reality of my daily life, as it is for every Christian. I am in the world, darkness and all, but I am not of it. (John 17:16) I must be careful that I don’t act like I belong to it! Being Christ’s witness means being a channel of His light, no matter how dark my surroundings. He has said that we are His witnesses (Acts 1:8) and that we are the light of the world. (Matthew 5:14) I am not to draw back from that, but proclaim Christ boldly. As Francis of Assisi said, I am to “Preach constantly. If necessary, use words.” If I live as a disciple of Jesus Christ, I will carry light with me wherever I go, and people will be blessed. Some will retreat from the light, but others will be drawn to it, and I can share Christ with them. That is the calling and great privilege of every believer. As a pastor, I am to be helping all the believers understand that this applies to them, and not just to “professional Christians.” When they catch that vision, we will have harvest indeed.

Father, thank You for this clear Word! I pray that I would communicate it in the grace and power of Your Spirit, not beating people up over how they have been but giving them hope and vision for how You want them to be. May I too be a carrier of Your light more and more, to the point that just by my walking into a room Your Spirit might bring people to repentance and faith. May we Your children indeed be all that You desire and intend, for the salvation of many and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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