LIGHT IN A DARK WORLD
John 5:35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
We live in a dark, dark world. We grow so accustomed to the darkness, that we don’t even realize the lack of spiritual light all around us. We only become aware of our circumstances when someone turns on a light. Before Christ appeared on earth, there was also a time of great spiritual darkness. In the midst of that hopeless world, the lord set apart His prophet John. Isaiah called him “a voice crying in the wilderness”. I have often wondered what Isaiah meant. Was he speaking of the wilderness of Judea or was he speaking about the spiritual wilderness our world had become? Maybe he was speaking about both. When John burst on the scene, it was as if someone turned on a bright light. Jesus said that John was a burning and shining light. In the 1800’s John Gill spoke about Jesus’ comments about John, this is some of what he said.
“He was a burning and shining light. He was not that light, the famous light, the Messiah, the Sun of righteousness; yet he was the phosphorous, the forerunner of that light, and was himself a very great one: he had much light himself into the person and office of the Messiah; in the doctrines of faith in Christ, and repentance towards God; in the Gospel dispensation, and in the abolition of the Mosaic economy; and gave great light to others, in the business of salvation, and remission of sins, and was the means of guiding the feet of many in the way of peace. His light of pure doctrine, and of a holy and exemplary conversation, shone very visibly and brightly before men; and he burned with strong love and affection for Christ, and the souls of men; and with flaming zeal for the honor of God, and true religion, and against all sin and profaneness, which he was a faithful reprover of, and for which he lost his life.”
I love that last comment Gill made about John, “he burned with strong love and affection for Christ and the souls of men”. That love was the result of the fire that was burning in his soul. The fire of God had fallen upon John, his life had become a bright light in a dark world. Today, our world is in desperate need of spiritual light. Where does that light come from? Jesus said that we are the light of the world. When anyone has a spiritual encounter, and continues to walk in it, he becomes like John, a burning and shining light in a dark world. Have you been baptized in the fire of God, have you been lit up with a passion for God? That burning and shining is the fruit of revival. Something has been awakened in your soul. It is a hunger and love for God which, like John, spills over in a love for souls. If you have been “lit up by God recently, it’s time to start burning and shining. We can’t hide our light under a basket, we have to let it shine.