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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Eighty-Ninth (A Light)

I hope you had a wonderful week. We're going to look back at light this week. Previously, we took a dive into the different words that have been translated to light. This time, let's take a different angle. We mainly spent our time in the Old Testament before, and now we're going to focus in the New.

Let's start with Paul's second letter to the Corinthians. A little less than halfway through, he starts talking about preaching Jesus. When he does, he brings up this concept of light in reference to Yehovah and to the gospel of Jesus (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).

Again, we have to dig into the "words behind the words," so to speak, and take a look at what was intentioned with the original Greek. When we do that, we find in verse 4 that really it's the illumination of the gospel he's referring to. In Strong's, we see that the idea of photismos is not just illumination but enlightenment.

How about we back up for just a second though, because the context is important, as it always is. He's talking about the god of this world, which of course is Satan (John 12:31, 16:11), having blinded unbelievers, the ones that are lost (2 Corinthians 4:3). This blinding is what's keeping the unbelievers from the enlightenment of the gospel.

Have you met anyone that's blinded like that? Anyone that is so blinded they actually fight for something against the gospel? I'm sure if you haven't met them personally, you've seen those types of people on television or read about them in the news. They come in a wide range of blindness. From those that are blinded a little, who can still be guided to the gospel, to those that won't even listen to it and may even be violent against it. For the latter group, your only option might be to share that gospel by living it.

Part of "seed laying," the gospel is our actions. How loud does the gospel speak in this world when instead of revenge you give forgiveness? How loud is love instead of hate? How loud is kindness instead of cruelty? When someone sees these things, it sometimes causes them to pause and think, because the majority of what they see on a day to day basis is revenge, hate and cruelty. They may even ask you why you did something, for example. If they do, take that opportunity to talk about Jesus and His gospel.

Back in second Corinthians, we see something that might be familiar to you. As those enlightened, we are perplexed just like Paul was (2 Corinthians 4:8). We are baffled by how the lost can come to the conclusions and beliefs they do. How a life can mean nothing to them just because it has not yet been born. How they can look upon something as complex as the earth's ecosystems, or as unique as the bombardier beetle, and believe its existence is pure happenstance?

But, like Paul, we are not in despair. We know in time the truth will be revealed (Daniel 7:13-14, Matthew 24:30, 26:64, Mark 13:26, 14:62). We may not feel or experience the other things Paul lists right now, at least to an extent. But it behooves us to remember his words if/when we do.

In persecution, remember you are not abandoned by Yehovah (2 Corinthians 4:9). When struck down, remember the only One that can truly destroy you is Yehovah (Matthew 10:28).

Before we close, let's make sure we emphasize this idea of light with the words of Jesus. When speaking to the multitudes, He told them they are the light, and should let that light shine before the world (Matthew 5:14-16). Based on sheer numbers, there was likely those that walked away from that teaching without believing. So, in context, He was really speaking to those that fall into the categories of people He listed (Matthew 5:3-11).

This gives us more insight into how we can be that light that He speaks of: being meek, merciful, hungering for righteousness, etc. Making sure we keep our whole body full of light by keeping our eyes pure and singularly on storing up those treasures in heaven! (Matthew 6:22-24)

Finally, I want to touch on something some people try to focus on or use to interpret certain gospels such that they believe what's written is not written to them. Some believe that Matthew, for example, is written solely to the Jews and the things in it therefore do not apply to them. They say we can learn from it, but we don't have to follow it, and a verse they like to use is the one where Jesus says He was sent to the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 15:24).

If we take a look way back though, they seem to forget, or maybe ignore, that Jesus' gospel to the Gentiles was already spoken of before His ministry began. It wasn't just starting with Paul. Remember Simeon? The guy that the Holy Spirit told would see the Messiah before he died. Guess what he said when he saw the baby Jesus in the temple? He said Jesus would be a light to the Gentiles! (Luke 2:32)

So make sure you're planting that seed of light, whether it's by your actions or by sharing the gospel with your words. Remember, God is with us always. He that is in us is stronger than he that is in the world, and He has overcome the world! (1 John 4:4, John 16:33)

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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