Today’s scripture: John 8:12-38
There are always words that seem to be powerful in our lives. Words that bring pride and inspiration. Like the name our high school mascot or college teams. Maybeeven our state or nation. Sometimes the words peopl speak seem to hang around our heads like some timeless source of encouragement. When I listen to the speaches given by Martin Luther King Jr. or the late presidents I often get goose bumps as if they were speaking directly to me. The same goes for the words that I read spoken by Jesus.
Thrughout John’s Gospel there are som words that keep coming up: word, light, water, and love to name a few. These words have meaning that is often lost to us but may have carried bigger understanding to those that heard them. For example one word like light. To ancients light was very important, there was a true and real fear of darknessin the ancient world. Back then even in the cities they could see these wonders of night called stars. Night actually was dark, the only sources of light came from the moon, stars, and from very inadiquate tourches and oil lamps. But light had deep meaning. Light expelled darkness and was seen as a gift from the gods. Where darkness was the reign of the demons like Pan. Light was also seen as knowledge from God, so when Jesus says that “I am the Light of the World” he is saying much more than we understand in our contemporary era. He is saying I am the source of life, I am the source of peace, I am the presence of saftey, the absence of fear, the wisdom of God! Those that come to Him will not fear the chaos of the darkness because the very presence of the divine is near.
Word also is an important. Like light, word has a link to the divine. In most ancient cultures the most people could not read, of the ancients the Jewish people probably had the highest literacy rate. Those who were educated ran the world, words equated power, which equals a blessng from the gods. Words represented knowledge from God. So when the word became flesh what John is really saying is the wisdom and knowledge of God became human. Humanity had direct contact with, and could interact with God.
These words may not seem all that improtant to us, but they were very powerful. Little words that brought such hope. These words brought truth and freedom to the people, they were freed from the overlords because it released them to wisdom that was prior only revieled to the elite.
Jesus can give and still gives this hope even today. As science and technology increases the availability of knowledge is even greater than ever before. We live in an exciting era of history. The question is, is this knowledge going to bring light or darkness? And how are we going to use the knowledge God has given us, will we use it to bind people or free them?