‘Appreciation’ Meditations No.26: Light & Goodness
Eph 5:8,9 “you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord…. the fruit of the light consists in all goodness.”
We have been pursuing the path called the goodness of God over this past week and we concluded yesterday by briefly considering Jesus leading the disciples across the lake to the region of the Gadarenes to do some deliverance ministry which sometimes can be slightly scary business, even when you know the power and authority of God. Before they arrived there, this area must have been blighted by the presence of these two men who were described as being “so violent that no one could pass that way.” (Mt 8:28) It was a no-go area dominated by darkness, by evil, by violence, an area where Satan clearly reigned.
Now we perhaps fail to realize that when Jesus said, “I am the Light of the World,” (Jn 8:12) he was also inferring, “I am the bringer of all goodness into the world.’ The episode we have just been referring to is a classic example of Jesus bringing his light and goodness into a dark and evil place.
Now intriguingly Galilee had been known as a place of darkness. Isaiah had prophesied, “there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations,” (Isa 9:1) or as another version puts it, “The people living in darkness have seen a great light.” It was probably called that because so often, when there was an invasion, it mostly came from the north and so Galilee always took the brunt of such invasions. Not a happy place to live. Now Jesus probably chose Galilee in which to minister partly because it was sufficiently far from the religious authorities based in Jerusalem so he could minister for three years without being overly disturbed. But it may be that he was also there to confront the darkness over that area by bringing his light to bear on it. With his light, his Holy Spirit, living in us, he now calls us light. Although he declared of himself that he was the light of the world he also declared to us, “You are the light of the world.” (Mt 5:14) So when times seem dark, let the Holy Spirit bring recollection to you of the many good things God HAS brought into your life. Darkness – that brings fear, doubt, depression – comes when we fail to let Him bring this light, this awareness of His goodness to you. Sit and make a list of the good things He has done and He has provided for you and declare them out loud praising His name. Darkness flees when the light comes and as bad as the darkness sometimes seems, remember, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has NOT overcome it.” (Jn 1:5) Let his goodness shine forth and watch the darkness flee.