by Dorette Saunders
The apostle Paul was arrested for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a radical gospel for the people of his day considering that it was based on Jesus being the Son of God who had come to save people from their sins.
The chief priests and other Jewish leaders were threatened by this gospel so they arranged for Paul to be seized in the temple and they brought a fraudulent case against him. (Acts 26:9-21).
In his defense, Paul not only recounts his amazing conversion to Christianity (he had previously spent his life persecuting Christians) but he also recounts the message Jesus gave him.
The Lord also said, “I will protect you from the Jews and from the Gentiles that I am sending you to. I want you to open their eyes, so they will turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then their sins will be forgiven, and by faith in me they will become part of God's holy people” (Acts 26:17, 18, CEV).
If you are a follower of Jesus, this message is for you, too. All of us are to be witnesses of the life-changing gospel of Jesus and we are to share it with others “so they will turn from darkness.”
Isn’t it amazing that when difficulties overwhelm us, we tend to tell ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel? Yet, if truth be told, when we are following Jesus, the light is not somewhere out there, but it is present with us at all times.
Listen to what Jesus says: “I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life” (John 8:12, CEV).
Jesus is that light which gives life. The Bible tells us that “the light keeps shining in the dark, and the darkness has never put it out” (John 1:5, CEV).
Moving from darkness to light is a biblical metaphor for relinquishing sin to adopt the truth of the gospel, of acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Savior, and accepting his forgiveness of our sins.
When Jesus preached his first sermon (Luke 4:16-21), he opened with these words:
The Lord's Spirit
has come to me,
because he has chosen me
to tell the good news…
(v. 18, CEV)
Included in that “good news” was Jesus’ announcement that he would “give sight to the blind” (v.18). And while Jesus healed many people of various diseases, including blindness, he was speaking of removing spiritual blindness so people would “see” and acknowledge him as the Messiah, the Son of God.
Look around at our world. Many are walking in spiritual darkness. Our hour has come to be witnesses and to pray for the healing of blind eyes to be open. It is our time to proclaim what we have seen and heard; it is our time to share testimonies of the faithfulness of God over our lives. Surely, God has chosen us to share the Good News so that many will turn from darkness to the light.
PRAYER: Light of the world, we ask you to illumine those who do not know you. Help us to shine our light so that your love and grace may be reflected in us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.