A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

God is light and Jesus is the light of the world. A meditation, and some questions.

The people who sat in darkness saw great light, and to those who sat in the region and shadow of death, light has begun to shine.  (Matt 4:16)

 

 

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined. (Is 9:2)

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

After he had said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more,” Jesus said to the crowds in the temple:
I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (John 8:12)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps 27:1)

For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Ps 36:9)

In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by it, and without it was made nothing that was made. In it was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-4)

Jesus said:
I am come a light into the world, so that whosoever believes on me will not remain in darkness. (John 12:46)

But if we walk in light, even as he is in light, then we have fellowship with him, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

For it is God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, which has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)

He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him. (Dan 2:22)

His disciples saw him transfigured – light shone from his face and clothes:
And he was transfigured before them. And his face did shine like the sun, and his clothes were as white as the light.
(Matt 17:2)

Zacharias prophesied that his son John would prepare the way for the Dayspring who would give light to those who sat in darkness:
And thou, child, shall be called the prophet of the Highest. For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways, and to give knowledge of salvation to his people for the remission of sins through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high has visited us to give light to those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.  (Luke 1:76-79)

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came as a witness to bear witness of the light, so that all through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of the light that was the true light, who lights all men that come into the world. (John 1:6-9)

When Simeon saw the infant Jesus he said:
Lord, now let your servant depart in peace according to your promise. For my eyes have seen the saviour sent from you, whom you have prepared before the face of all people – a light to give sight to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)

Light featured in the conversion of Paul:
But as he journeyed and came near to Damascus, suddenly there shone round about him a light from heaven. And he fell to the earth and heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? And he said, Who are you Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you persecute. It is hard for you to kick against the prick. (Acts 9:3-5a)

Paul later recounted his conversion:
It came to pass, as I made my journey and had come near to Damascus about noon, that suddenly a great light from heaven shone round about me. … And those who were with me saw a light, and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of him that spoke with me. (Acts 22:6, 9)
I saw in the road a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining round about me and those who were journeying with me. (Acts 26:13)

You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people, in order that you should show forth the virtues of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.  (1 Pet 2:9)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of light, with whom is no variableness nor turning to darkness. James 1:17)

I give you charge in the sight of God, who gives life to all things, and before Jesus Christ, who bore faithful witness under Pontius Pilate, to keep the commandment, and be without spot and unrebukeable until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ – which appearing (when the time is come) he will show, who is blessed and sole in dominion, King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, and dwells in light to which no man can attain, whom no man ever saw, neither can see: to whom be honour and rule everlasting. Amen. (1 Tim 6:13-16)

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to give it light, because the brightness of God did light it, and the Lamb was the light of it. And the people who are saved will walk in the light of it, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory to it. (Rev 21:23-24)

The sun shall no longer be your light by day, Nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; But the Lord will be to you an everlasting light, And your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, Nor shall your moon withdraw itself; For the Lord will be your everlasting light, And the days of your mourning shall be ended. (Is 60:19-20)

And they will see his face, and his name will be in their foreheads. And there will be no night there, and they need no lamp, nor the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. (Rev 22:4-5)

Jesus is fully man and fully God. God is light. Light shone from Jesus’ face and clothes when he was transfigured on the mount. So let us consider some questions:

  • Would it be possible for someone to testify that they have had an experience or a vision of Jesus where light was shining from Him?
  • Would it be okay for someone, especially if that person was a child and didn’t have any previous exposure to Christian terminology, to think of Jesus as “the light man”?
  • Would it be heretical to refer to Jesus as “the light man”?

****

Source of scriptures

All NT quotations are from the New Matthew Bible. You can read the NT of the New Matthew Bible on Bible Gateway, but the Bible Gateway platform does not show the notes. You can purchase the NT of the New Matthew Bible complete with all the notes here.

All OT quotations are from the NKJ.

 

9 Comments

  1. Gany T.

    This is a beautiful compilation of Scripture and meditation. Very encouraging and strengthening thinking of Who our Redeemer is, especially as we are aware and so impacted by all the evil and darkness around us.

    My answers to the 3 questions you posed at the very end: Yes, Yes, No 🙂

  2. AppleofHiseye

    Great meditation- Thank you, Barbara for this.
    I agree with Gany T. – Yes, Yes, and No.

    God looks on the heart…..not the vocabulary we use….He knows that which is sincere worship and acknowledgement of Jesus.
    “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” (John 4:23)

    One of my favorite verses which gives me a sense of awe:
    “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”(Heb. 1:3)
    Although this verse doesn’t use the specific term “light” it does reference the idea of light by using the word “radiance”.

    Blaspheming against God, or using disrespectful untrue words against or about Jesus would be wrong or heretical, but using words that actually describe the Lord, to the point of reflecting what the word of God actually says about Him, is not heretical.

  3. Seeing Clearly

    God speaks simple truths, humans complicate things. I tell my granddaughters to notice what God wanted us to know first; creation of a world that one day we would live in.

    Gen 1:3 records God’s first words for us, “Let there be light,”.

    In child likeness, it offers us a simple means to grasp childlike acceptance of Jesus, the true and absolute light.

    I was not raised with the term ‘light man’, but in simple child words, it seems reasonable to me. God Trinity is the Light of the world. Jesus is God/man, so I accept that reference as acceptable.

    It is our closed and finite minds that hinder our eyes from seeing many things. In our vulnerable moments the eyes of our hearts are opened to see beyond what we daily grasp but fully in the realm of God reaching out to us in our times of need. If God created light, God will use light to draw us to Him in unfathomable ways.

    This is a wonderful post for the Advent season. Each December brings so many reminders of trouble and desperation in humanity, it seems to me. Days are short with sun setting so early. I find myself longing for hope in this bleak season. In my longing, I more deeply welcome the birth of my Savior. Jesus, coming as a baby, is my Hope and the Light that shines to reveal the lies of men that try to hide in darkness.

    Thank you, Barbara. I loved taking the time to read each individual scripture reference to Light.

  4. Grateful

    Wonderful compilation of verses. In answer to your questions, Yes, yes, no—but with this caveat: remember even Satan himself can appear as an angel of light, and a counterfeit ‘Jesus’ or ‘Christ’ has duped many new agers & others. Just a caution to be Berean and perhaps further inquire into the person’s vision to make sure their ‘light man’ squares with the REAL Jesus.

    • Yes, there are certainly many in the New Age/’human potential’ movement who call themselves ‘light workers’ and other such terms. And I know some people who claim that they had a spiritual vision involving light but those people are by no means Christians.

  5. Now Free (formerly struggling to be free)

    Christmas is the hardest time of year for me and I can’t describe the pain I’m going through.

    So many triggers, and just always was the biggest and most intense time of abuse. I came to hate the holidays and would rather I could work. Just keep me in your prayers when all is lovely, true and right, there’s much darkness still trying to be eradicated from this and prob many more lives.

    Your words and God’s word are lovely, Barb. I skipped through quickly because it’s so hard to comprehend with so much going on in my mind and heart. I’m sorry, but I cannot begin to explain the depth of agony in my heart at this time of year, when everyone else is celebrating. It’s wrong, but I can’t hide it. My thoughts are with many of our readers who I know are suffering too. Love to you all at this Christmas time.

    I’ll celebrate but prob in much a different way than the world and many Christians want me to. Feel such a fake at this time of year.

  6. Helovesme

    Now Free (Formerly Struggling To Be Free) will be praying for you. I had the honor of reading a post on Facebook where he made himself available to pray for those for whom the holidays are tough. Better still, those that commented made it clear they would be praying for all the others.

    I may be in the minority on this—-but I personally don’t think you need to apologize for admitting this time of year is so tough on you. This very post made it clear that darkness exists, and it’s pretty bad. The fact that He is Light, and He came to rescue us from that darkness—-is what helps us to have glimpses of joy even as we deal with that darkness.

    Barb, this post was so lovely indeed. Those verses are so precious. Some of them were not as prominent in my mind as the others, so it was an added blessing to read them.

    And I agree with the others in answer to those questions!

    I don’t want to spoil the lovely fragrance of this post, which focuses on Jesus as the Light—-but adding a verse that speaks a bit about the contrast between darkness and light. But it’s one of my favorites, and it almost always gives me pause:

    “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness..Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” (1 John 2)

    “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.” (1 John 3)

    By the way, abusers are NOT our brothers and sisters in Christ. I was not applying this verse to them in any way. Not that it’s okay to hate them—-but they are not our spiritual family members. I do not believe they have eternal life residing in them.

    I brought up these verses because of how GOOD it is to be in His light. Even when we are dealing with darkness around or within us, IMO that doesn’t necessarily mean you are separated from His Light.

    In fact, I believe it’s somewhat the exact opposite: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5. Barb shared this verse, too).

    When I am struggling—whether it is from pain that others have caused me, or pain caused from my own sins—He shines harder and brighter to help me overcome whatever is trying to overwhelm me. He gives me whatever I need to keep fighting this good fight.

    My greatest fear in the last few years, where I have deal with much trial and trauma—-is that I would become what 1 John warns us against: falling short or simply giving up in the most important area of our walks with Him—-loving Him and loving others.

    If I give up on His love, I will be in darkness. I will be stumbling around, unable to see because darkness has blinded me.

    By the way, I believe the opposite of love is not necessarily hate—-but indifference. Hate is certainly a real and dangerous thing, but we often forget that being numb and uncaring towards others has grave consequences as well. Hate is usually seen as more active and aggressive, but indifference is no better. The message you send is the same: you simply don’t care.

    I should also make it clear that in loving others, you absolutely do NOT have to engage in grandiose giving, or commit to something large and time consuming. The Bible makes it clear He has prepared good works for us to do in advance (Ephesians 2:10). All we have to do is walk in what He has already planned for us.

    It is usually the small and simple things that make great impact. Jesus spoke of giving a glass of water to someone as a great act of love. The woman who washed His feet was told she would be a memorial to Him for generations. Love is an real and active—-and it makes every difference in the world.

    I connect the fact that He is Light, to the fact that He is Love. If you walk in His love, you are in His light—-and there is nothing to make you stumble. In fact, no one can accuse you of wrongdoing if you are bearing the fruit of love (aka fruit of the Spirit)—-against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:23)

    The Word also says a murderer has no eternal life in Him. So I also connect that His Love, and His Light are intertwined with eternal life. When we are abiding in His Love and Light—-we are also abiding in eternal life.

    Eternal life won’t be fully grasped until we see Him again, where we will be with Him always. But by no means are we missing out while we are here on Earth. We have a good and strong taste of eternal life in the here and now.

    Since Jesus also expressed that He IS life (He doesn’t just give us eternal life in Him)—then while we may feel dead and dark inside—-since we are in Him, we are alive and kicking.

    Abuse tends to blind us to spiritual reality. I know that feeling well. When I am crying buckets of tears, struggling with forgiving others, and struggling even harder to make sense of what cannot be made sense of—–how is it possible to focus on the fact that His light is shining in me, around me and through me? I see nothing but death and despair.

    Take a step back. Who is the One holding you while you cry? Who is the One working in you to eventually forgive those that have broken your heart? Who is the One who has unlimited understanding, so somehow He will help you to process your immense trauma? Who is the One who makes it clear He’s not going anywhere, so keep crying, praying, and trusting Him?

    I also don’t say any of this to imply that we should stop crying and put on our happy faces for the holidays. Absolutely NOT. Trusting in what we cannot see does NOT mean everything is okay. Everything is going to BE okay—-but never delude yourself into thinking that this is not rough stuff you are dealing with.

    At my worst times, God has always found a way to put a brief but real smile on my face. They didn’t last long, but it meant something to me. It meant that He knows how to reach me. He truly IS the Light—-who else but Him knows just what to put in my path in order to remind me that while all seems lost—-all is NOT really lost. He just proved it by giving me a moment of joy in the mist of a blizzard of sorrow!

    Barb, this post was beyond precious. It encouraged me so very much.

    • Finding Answers

      Once again, Helovesme, you have spoken so many of the words in my heart, but far, far more eloquently than I.

      I, too, am one of those who suffers at Christmas, struggling even with feeling held by the One.

      I am taking the liberty of modifying the last phrase in your comment: Barb Helovesme, this post comment was beyond precious. It encouraged me so very much.”

    • Thank you, Helovseme 🙂 — your words ministered to me.

      When I am struggling—whether it is from pain that others have caused me, or pain caused from my own sins—He shines harder and brighter to help me overcome whatever is trying to overwhelm me. He gives me whatever I need to keep fighting this good fight.

      These words of yours reminded me of one of the notes in the New Matthew Bible. These notes were put together by John Rogers, a Christian in the early 1500s who compiled and edited the Matthew Bible. I will first quote the Bible passage which the note refers to, then I will quote the note.

      For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, because it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe, namely to the Jew and also to the Gentile. For by it the righteousness which comes from God is unveiled, from faith to faith. As it is written: The just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:16-17 NMB)

      The note:
      From faith to faith: That is, from an imperfect faith to a perfect faith, from a weak faith to a stronger, and from one battle of faith to another. As we escape one jeopardy by faith, another invades us, through which we must wade by the help of faith also.

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