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Grappling

Grappling
Krypto– to conceal oneself

Jesus said all this, and then went into hiding (John 12:36b).

In John 8, Jesus is in the temple when the scribes and Pharisees bring in a woman caught in adultery, ready to punish her by stoning. Jesus confounds them by refusing to condemn her. He sends her out, cautioning her to sin no more. Then he claims to be “the light of the world.” “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life (8:12). He predicts his own death, explains his true disciples will be freed by knowing the truth, and predicts his Father will glorify him. When they start to stone him, Jesus hides himself.

The action in chapter 12 is similar. Jesus confronts crowds who are not certain who he is (but who hear God glorifying Jesus), claims he refuses to condemn the world (only the devil), and invites people to walk in the light of his life. But then he withdraws, hiding himself. John writes that the same people who had been present when Jesus gave many signs still did not believe him (12:37). Just like the poor, unbelievers will always be with us. But the darkness of unbelief will not overcome the light. F. Dale Bruner cautions, “Only where a clear witness to Jesus rings out is there a clear Light still shining.” Now that Jesus’ earthly light no longer walks the earth, we the Church follow in his footsteps. We are the light of the world, a light to be put on a lamp stand, a light that will shine so others will see our good works and give glory to our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

How do you feel about being given the responsibility to represent Christ’s light in the world? Do you shine your light more individually or as part of the church?