Summary: Jesus is the light of scrutiny; Jesus is the Light of salvation; Jesus is the Light that Shows Through
Sermon for 9/19/2004
Jesus is the Light
Making decisions in the dark can lead to some regrettable consequences. Back in the days before electricity, a tightfisted old farmer was taking his hired man to task for carrying a lighted lantern when he went to call on his best girl. "Why," the farmer exclaimed, "when I went a-courtin’ I never carried one of them things. I always went in the dark." "Yes," the hired man said," and look what you got!"
A. Today we are talking about light. How I wish that we could have some sunlight?
B. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
C. Yes, Christ might be referring to physical light but more than likely he is talking about spiritual light.
Thesis: Jesus is the Light of Scrutiny. Jesus is the Light of Salvation. Jesus is the Light that Shows Through.
Jesus is the Light of Scrutiny
A. Read John 3:19-21
B. To scrutinize is to examine or observe with great care; inspect critically.
C. When people want to examine something like a diamond or a coin or painting or sculpture or some ancient artifact, they examine it under a bright and concentrated light. Under this light they see all of the flaws and minor details of the piece they are examining. This is putting this piece under the light of scrutiny.
D. Take for instance you ladies. It doesn’t matter how you look at night. Look nasty and no one can see. If someone were to come by early in the morning right after you get out of bed, you would be embarrassed. Why? Because in the light people can see all of the flaws and minor details of face and body.
E. Light gives the ability to observe something. Without light it is difficult, impossible to really examine something.
F. Jesus calls himself the light of the world. Jesus is also called the Word. Jesus Christ himself is the Word sent down from heaven. The Bible also is the Word sent down from heaven. God’s nature and character are revealed through Christ, and God’s nature and character are revealed through the words in this Book.
G. (Heb 4:12 NIV) For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
H. When the light of the Word shines down upon us, we are found for what we really are: evil and sinful people.
I. Evil people. Yes? Dr. Scott Peck wrote a book titled, “People of the Lie.” Early in the book Peck tells one of the stories form his counseling practice that helped lead him to see that evil is a genuine reality in the world. He calls it, “The Case of Bobby and His Parents.” Bobby was a 15 year old boy who was sent by the court to see Dr. Peck because his grades in school were falling. He was depressed and he had an accident with a stolen car. Dr. Peck met with Bobby and heard his story. After meeting with Bobby a few times, Dr. Peck was alarmed by what he saw. He was even more alarmed by what he heard. He learned that Bobby’s older brother, Stuart, had committed suicide in June of the previous year. Stuart had shot himself in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. Stuart’s suicide had clearly been the cause for Bobby’s academic slide and personal depression. But there was more. At Christmas time Bobby’s parents gave him a .22 rifle. “Isn’t that the same kind of gun your brother used to kill himself?” an amazed Dr. Peck said to Bobby. “It wasn’t the same kind of gun,” Bobby replied. “It is the same gun.” Dr. Peck was stunned. Bobby’s parents were all but telling him to commit suicide too. Dr. Peck called the parents to this office. They seemed to be quite normal, blue collar, church going, and hard working people. Dr. Peck confronted them with their deed. “Don’t you see that giving Bobby this gun is like telling him to go out and kill himself?” Dr. Peck inquired. The parents, Dr. Peck tells us, could see no such thing. They were blind to the consequences of their own deeds. In his continued work with Bobby and his parents Dr. Peck began to formulate the thesis that these parents were evil people. Bobby was in the clutches of evil powers. This evil resided in his parents. They were people who could simply not tell the truth about themselves. This is Dr. Peck’s definition of evil. Evil people deceive others by building layer upon layer of self-deception around them. Evil people are not the same as sinful people. It is not their sins in themselves that distinguish between evil people and sinful people (everyone is sinful). The difference is that evil people refuse to acknowledge any fault at all in their character.