Seeing The Light
Sometimes when I hear the word “conversion”, I think of the apostle Paul and his experience on the road to Damascus. As Saul was nearing Damascus a light bright enough to blind him suddenly shone down upon him.
Luke records the event in Acts 9:3-6 where he writes “As he (Saul) journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads." So he, trembling and astonished, said, "Lord, what do You want me to do?" Then the Lord said to him, "Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do." This light rendered Saul (Paul) blind for 3 days. (vs. 9)
Now that’s seeing the light. Of course we now know that Saul became the apostle Paul, who was known for his spreading of the gospel among the Gentiles (Rom 11: 13,14). Today, we won’t see the light in the same dramatic fashion that Paul did. We won’t be blinded for 3 days by such a bright light from heaven. Yet all of us need to see the light , no matter how good we think we’ve been or how bad we are. Without the light, we can not be saved.
Even good people aren’t good enough to get to heaven without being forgiven for the sins they have committed. Romans 3:23 states that “all have sinned” and the payment for these sins is spiritual death (Rom 6: 23) But God offers a light to the world to lead men out of darkness. The light may not blind us for 3 days, but it has the power to cleanse us from the sins that prohibit our salvation.
The word “light” is used in several ways in the New Testament. One of the descriptions that the Bible uses for Jesus is that He is the light. The apostle John uses the term referring to Jesus repeatedly in his gospel in chapter one where he writes, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8: 12). The term darkness is another reference to “sin”. Paul uses the analogy in Romans 13:12-14 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” If a person is lost in the dark, what do they need to find their way ? They need a light ! Without a light to show them out of the darkness, a person could be doomed to be trapped in darkness until they receive help. Yet, when a light is present, a person can then safely find their way out of the darkness.
The reference to darkness in the Bible is used in a similar manner. The darkness that Scripture refers to is the hopelessness of sin. If a person will not open their eyes to see the light they will be doomed to be trapped in darkness (sin). Because that darkness (sin) keeps us from the presence of God and from entering into heaven, we need to find a light that will safely guide us and show us the way. Jesus is that light that guides us back to the Father in heaven.
Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:5-6) Jesus is the light that guides the way to the salvation that bridges the gap between sinful humanity and a holy God.