Summary: We each have choices to make today. We want either the Light on or off. We’re going to explore what those options will mean for us.
I have had occasions when I would awaken in the middle of the night having had a bad dream or unsettled sleep. In these moments the darkness momentarily overwhelms me. I’d climb out of bed and fumble in the darkness for a light switch so I can come out of my disturbing slumber. Of course, the bright light is so blinding that I can’t handle the quick shift in reality! So I turn the light off! I want the light to rid myself of the darkness but I can’t handle the light because I am accustomed to the dark! What a dilemma!
You will have had your own experiences of being in the dark, wanting light. Do you remember August 14, 2003? (SLIDE) It was the night the lights went out in Ontario and the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. It affected 10 million of us in Ontario alone, marking the largest black-out in Northern American history. None of us who experienced that will forget how we longed for the lights to come back on. When you’re accustomed to being in the light, you don’t like the dark.
When the Light (with a capital L) overpowers the Dark (with a capital D), it is an awesome experience! It is powerful when God blazes into life’s experiences. Light brings power for living but it also exposes the Dark deeds and shameful practices that we have become accustomed too. What a dilemma! The benefits of the Light however, are worth the trouble of dealing with exposed Darkness.
Many cannot handle the exposure. The Light becomes so intrusive and uncomfortable that they hate it, despise it and, like the religious leaders of our Bible reading they rush to turn it off and shut it down.
We each have choices to make today. We want either the Light on or off. We’re going to explore what those options will mean for us.
I. The Intensity of The Light (Jesus) SLIDE
INTENSITY is a basic property of natural light and refers to the BRIGHTNESS of light. For example, we all understand the difference between the brightness of a 40 watt bulb and a 100 watt bulb. Then if you replace a standard 40 watt bulb in your lamp with the newer 40 watt fluorescent bulb you will know that it is considerable brighter or is a more intense bulb.
Jesus, The Light of the world, doesn’t ever gloss things over. When he enters the room or comes to live in your life, he confronts corruption in its ugliest form but he also provides pardon and ignites change. He doesn’t expose our sin to condemn us; he exposes our sin to save us! This is that reality of John 8:1-11 (Read/capsualize)
* Legalistic response to human corruption
* An opportunity to corner Jesus so he would condemn himself with his answer
From a legal standpoint the leaders were right and the sentence of death by stoning, according to the law, was just. The problem however with adopting a legal standpoint is how that position affected the would-be judges. There are several possible reasons why Jesus wrote in the ground as the leaders pushed him to deal with the situation before him. The most powerful suggestion as to what and why Jesus was writing in the sand comes from William Barclay. He offers that Jesus was writing in the dust the sins of the very men who were accusing the woman." To go on, "Jesus was saying, ’Yes, you may stone her but only if you never wanted to do the same thing yourselves." Jesus was not only confronting the woman with the wickedness of her adultery but he was exposing the hidden desires of the human heart to want to commit acts of sin.
Barclay suggests that Jesus was not taking the woman’s sin lightly but he was deferring her sentence, as if to be saying to her, "I am not going to pass a final judgment now; go and prove that you can do better. At the end of the day we will see how you have lived."
The intensity of Christ in the room exposes, not to judge but to heal. Too many today are anxious to pass judgment. Too many demand a standard of behaviour that they cannot subscribe to themselves. The church is a place for the wounded; it is a place for the sinful; it is a place for people who have chosen the wrong side of the tracks; it is a place for people who have mucked things up badly. When the church ceases to be that kind of place we are nothing more than a legal society that likes to throw rocks.
Jesus’ statement "I am the light of the world" serves to make us painfully aware of sin. The Light invites us to come out of our disturbing, sinful slumber. The intensity of Christ in our lives leads us to deal with our own sins, to face the ugly reality of our own corruption. He brings us to realise that we are no better than another; that "We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23) Accepting the invitation however can be an overwhelming experience as we try to deal with the quick shift in reality! But don’t turn the light off! If you do, you’ll go back to sleep with sin. Face the Light and allow him to deal with the Dark.