ARGUE OR ACKNOWLEDGE
“The crowd spoke up, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this “Son of Man”?’ Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
“Believe in the light while you have the light, that you may become children of light.’ When He had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid Himself from them.” John 12:34-36 NIV.
As the time drew nearer for Jesus to be crucified, His pleas to His people became more urgent. To His disciples He would give the assurance that the Holy Spirit would replace Him when He left. They would still have someone exactly like Him who would continue to instruct and lead them from within. However, for those who were on the periphery, watching from afar and questioning everything He told them, there would no longer be His physical presence to show them the true nature of the Father.
Jesus did not answer their question. They had had more than enough evidence from His words and works to convince them that He was the Son of Man of whom He had spoken. Like their spiritual leaders, their sceptical attitude kept them from acknowledging Him as their Messiah.
However, it was much more than giving intellectual assent to the evidence. To believe meant to commit to Him and to reproduce in their own lives what He was teaching and modelling.
John had begun his gospel with a commentary on Genesis 1. When God introduced light to a dark and formless world, it was first the light of truth embodied in Jesus, the second person of the Trinity that entered the world before He created the heavenly lights. The Father assigned the earth to Jesus to provide enlightenment to the human beings He was about to create in His image to know and have fellowship with Him.
Satan had already been abolished to the earth along with his fallen angel companions because of his bid to take over the throne of God. To create and place humans in an environment where Satan had influence was to throw them to the wolves unless they had the presence of God with them in the person of Jesus to counter the devil’s work.
“God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1:5b. There is nothing selfish, devious or shady about Him. He is everything that is kind, merciful, loving and generous. He is holy, utterly separate from anything wicked or imperfect. His plans and intentions for all mankind are only for good. Everything He does is intended to draw us towards Him and the transform us to be like Him.
Satan is everything that is opposite to God. Like darkness which is the absence of light, he is empty of everything that God is. His attitude and actions are all wicked and selfish. He is heading towards destruction and everything he does is designed to draw us towards him so that we can share in his eternal judgment and doom.
Jesus’ heart cry was always, ‘Believe in me,’ because faith in Him would effect a transfer from the power and influence of the selfishness and greed with which the human race was born to the realm of God’s rule where life would be lived in the light of His presence and in the supernatural power of His Spirit.
There was little time left to hear from the lips of Jesus the words that would bring them the hope of eternal life. Instead of arguing and contradicting Him, He urged them to heed and believe Him so that they could escape from the treadmill of self-centred living which was eroding away their opportunity to enter into the real life He was offering them — life that was enriched and fulfilled by loving God and caring for those who could not care for themselves.
The clock was ticking; the countdown had begun. In a few days, death would remove Him from them. They would no longer see Him. Now was the time to respond or they might never have the opportunity again.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.