March 17, 2009

interesting clarifying statement

In John 3 verse 17, Jesus says, "God did not send the Son into the world to condemn [judge] it, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Then a few lines later he says, "This is the judgment, that the light came into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil."

Two things strike me.  First, people is a general and universal term.  While it was the religious authorities in cahoots with the Roman occupiers that brought Jesus to the cross, it was people, any and all, who love darkness who helped do the work of snuffing the light of the world.  It sounds harsh, like I'm judging, but I'm deep in the midst of people, and there are days in which I'd love the light to be just a little dimmer so that my underlying sins might not be seen.

The second thing I see this morning is that the fact that people loved darkness doesn't matter.  Jesus came not to judge the world but to save it.  It was a foregone conclusion that somebody somewhere would get angry enough at Jesus to try to extinguish his light, but it didn't matter.  Jesus was sent anyway, and sent to save the world that would rather he not have arrived.  Grace is a crazy thing.  God sent his only Son to a world that didn't really want him, knowing full well he would end up dead, and he did it anyway because he came to save it.

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