*Photo Credit: Kevin Carden via creationswap.com
When you read 1 John 2 you get some classic John-like phrases. Like “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (v. 23) At one point several of these phrases get repeated in such short order that it feels like he’s talking in circles. It can be hard to follow. Hard to let it really sink in.
So I want to focus on two verses. 1 John 2:7-8. It says:
“Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”
New command? Old command? Which is it? It is an old command that seems new in light of Jesus. The command to love God and love others, our neighbors. You’ll see that elaborated on in chapter three.
In Jesus we see the Old Testament command to love God and others fleshed out.
That is the point of the incarnation. Jesus came into the world to show this truth, this reality, to mankind in a new unparalleled way. And that is exactly what he did. John phrases it as “the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.”
Look at “true light.” That phrases is only used one other time in the New Testament. And guess what. John wrote that verse too. John 1:9 – “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”
And once it got here, he changed everything. He struck the death-blow to death itself. That is why the first part of that phrases is true – “the darkness is passing.”
Really? The darkness is passing? I have to admit, in light of what’s going on in the world today, it doesn’t feel like it.
In light of terrorists running trucks into crowds of people only to open fire when they can go no further.
In light of fanatics shooting up clubs in order to strike a blow for ISIS.
In light of black men being gunned down week after week.
In light of fear-mongering and law-breaking in the campaign for the highest elected office in the free world.
The darkness is passing? It doesn’t feel true. But I choose to trust that it is true. That Jesus truly is the Alpha and Omega. That because he came and conquered death that death itself will, in fact, ultimately lose.
To quote one of Jesus’ early followers, the father of a boy sick beyond all help (or so he thought): I believe Lord! Help my unbelief!
May that be your prayer today. May you trust that the darkness truly is passing and it is indeed the light of Christ shining. May you believe. Lord help your unbelief.