35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” 39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.” 41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. 44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
Father, thank you for sending Your Son, the light of the world, a light that exposes the darkness and a light that defeats the darkness. We pray, O Lord, that today we would leave the darkness and come to the Light and walk in the Light and stay with the Light. May all patterns of darkness be broken from us, and we pray that we would bear much fruit to glorify Your Name, Father. Teach us now. Send your Spirit that will teach us all things. In Jesus Name, Amen
The one point for today is leave the darkness and come to the Light and stay with the Light.
35 So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.
There are many people in this world who are in the darkness and they have no idea where they’re going. All they know is today. All they know is the present. They have no idea what tomorrow holds, what the future holds, what will happen the moment they breathe their last breath. They have no idea where they’re going. Many people are in darkness.
Many people are okay with that and they say, I’ll tackle that bridge when I get to it. They don’t have any sense of problem that beyond this life, they have no clue. They have no idea where they’re going and they don’t care. They’re living in darkness. Jesus speaks first to the disciples of Christ, to those who are walking in the Light and with the Light because Jesus is the Light of the world. They’re walking with Him. They’re walking in Him.
Jesus says to the disciples of Christ whose destiny is to become sons of Light, you’re only going to have the Light a little while longer. Walk while you have the Light lest darkness overtake you. Did you know that even the disciples who walk with Jesus and live with Him, those who followed Him for three and a half years, they were at risk of being overtaken by darkness?
We know that Judas was fully overtaken by darkness. He was a dishonest treasurer. He stole from the money bags. He pretended to be a truthful, honest person, but he was a liar, a cheat and a thief. When the moment came to betray Jesus, darkness overtook him. Satan came into him and that was the end.
Even for Peter after he denied Jesus, the darkness was coming for him. He was so discouraged. He was in such despair. He almost walked away. Thomas with his doubt, darkness was creeping in and he did not want to believe until he saw and touched the hands and the side of Jesus. See, darkness can overtake even a believer.
36 …When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. 37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, 38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled.
There are some who are in darkness and they can never leave it. That might be a controversial thing to say. Jesus performed so many signs to these people, in His generation and in His lifetime, and yet they didn’t believe. And it was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy. Jesus references Isaiah chapter 6, how from the beginning God told Isaiah, you’re going to preach and guess what? They’re not going to listen. You’re going to reveal and show who God is and they’re not going to see. You’re going to unpack the mysteries of this coming Messiah and their hearts will not understand. From the beginning, Isaiah was told, you’re going to preach and your ministry will utterly fail because the blindness, deafness and hardened hearts of the people.
It was like that in Isaiah’s day. It was like that in Jesus’ day. Who is Jesus speaking specifically to here in chapter 12? He is speaking about the crowds and all the people He encountered but who did not end up believing in Him. But I think He was also specifically targeting the religious leaders and the Jews because they should have received. They should have believed and yet they didn’t. So the question is, why do some people not have a chance to believe? That seems unfair. Why would this prophecy be true of anybody? Doesn’t everybody have equal chance to believe? Why would God only choose some? Why would He exclude others – it seems unfair. The answer is found in John 3.
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
So why is it true of some people that this prophecy of Isaiah is talking about them, that they will see the signs, but they won’t see. They will hear the word of God yet they won’t hear. They will try to understand in their hearts, but they just cannot believe. It’s because these people love darkness. There are some in this world who love darkness. Their father is the devil. Their father is a murderer. Their father is a liar and they are just like their father.
They just love the darkness. When they commit a dark deed, there is zero remorse. For example, murder. This person was just in my way. No big deal. I just have to get rid of this person. No remorse. They love the darkness. We’re good people so we can’t conceive of that — that there are such people like this who love darkness.
Yes, there are many people in this world who love darkness. You look and see the crimes and you say, how could they have done that to children? How could they have murdered? How could they have committed lies over decades and fooled so many people, and so many people love them and exalt them, and how could we have believed this lie? It’s because there are people in this world who love darkness.
As a Christian, you cannot love darkness. We excuse ourselves so easily because nobody is sinless and we all sin. I’m talking about a pattern of darkness and a justification for darkness. You don’t wake up saying, oh I want to lie today or I want to commit murder today. Or I want to commit sexual immorality today. You don’t wake up with that thought hopefully. We can stumble into sins on occasion. We can have bad moments when we’re not vigilant and the evil one pounces on us, but if it becomes a pattern and you are always drawn to the darkness, then perhaps you love it.
Perhaps you love it and you justify yourself with saying, God forgives everybody. Doesn’t everyone lie? Everybody cheats. Everybody withholds information on their tax returns. Everybody does it. But I want to tell you that you cannot love the darkness.
You cannot love the darkness. If you want to be a son or daughter of the Light, if you want to walk in the Light and remain in the Light and stay with Jesus, then you cannot keep doing dark things. Jesus is the Light of the world. Just Him being here, He shines and He exposes. That’s why Jesus is hated. He’s just being who He is. He is the Light shining and just because He’s shining everywhere He goes, darkness is exposed and people just cringe by looking at the Light because they love their darkness. They don’t want to change. They don’t want to repent. They excuse. They justify, we’re all in darkness, aren’t we? We’re all darkened. We’re all sinners.
There’s a false teaching that says grace covers you and you can stay in darkness for the rest of your life. No, that is not true as children of Light whose destiny is to be a son or daughter of Light. We must leave the darkness. You cannot remain in the darkness. You cannot love the darkness. There are some in this world, many in this world actually, who love the darkness and their intentions will never change, and they say, I want to keep this dark thing. I have skeletons in my closet that I will never remove.
A Christian says, I’m a child of the Light. I have nothing to hide. You can look at my phone. You can look in my search history. I have nothing to hide. You can look at my bank account. I have nothing to hide. That is how a Christian lives. We’re righteous.
And why were so many Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in His day, why were they never saved? Why were many Pharisees never saved? It’s because they loved the darkness. Why was Jesus engaging Nicodemus, this Pharisee and teacher, so differently in John 3? Why is it such a gracious conversation of drawing him into salvation? Why is Nicodemus different?
It’s because Nicodemus does not love the darkness. While most of his peers loved the darkness, he is not like them. He loves the light. He’s a man of integrity. He is a genuine truth-seeker and he’s been seeking truth all of his life. He thought he had it but suddenly he sees this man Jesus and his hold world view is being shaken and he’s wondering, maybe there’s something to this man. I got to find out for myself, and so he goes to Jesus at night.
And the whole reason that Jesus is engaging him is a demonstration of this principle that Nicodemus is not someone who loves darkness and that’s why he is coming to the Light who is Jesus Christ. In John 7, we see Nicodemus moving closer and closer to initial salvation.
45 The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why did you not bring him?” 46 The officers answered, “No one ever spoke like this man!” 47 The Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived? 48 Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Nicodemus is an honest man of integrity, someone who doesn’t love the darkness, he’s a genuine and sincere truth-seeker. Now you see Nicodemus standing up to his peers, to the other Pharisees, and he’s defending Jesus. That’s why Nicodemus is saved in the end.
Probably from that point on, do you think the other Pharisees treated Nicodemus the same? Do you think they looked at him the same? Because these Pharisees are trying to arrest and crucify Jesus, and then someone from their midst is defending Jesus. Do you think he was called over to another Pharisee’s home for dinner after this? Do you think he had close friends among his peers after this, or do you think he was shunned? Do you think he was ostracized? And then you look at John chapter 19.
38 After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. 40 So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.
75 lb of spices. Did you know even a little vial of tea tree oil or whatever oil cost ten dollars for a few drops? 75 pounds — how much is it? I can’t even calculate 75 pounds of ointment and spices to give Jesus a proper burial. That’s why I believe without a shadow of a doubt that Nicodemus is my brother. Nicodemus is saved and that is such a miracle out of the Pharisees that one of them was saved.
We need to leave the darkness. That means the world. You cannot be in the Light until first you leave the world. You have to understand that this world is dark. If you do not agree with me that this world is dark, then you will try to be a friend of this world. If you don’t agree with me that this world is pitch black, you will try to to be somebody in this world, to make it in this world, and to leave your mark in this world.
Brothers and sisters, we are Christians who’ve been taken out of this world. And so in our heart, we have to leave it. We have to leave it, meaning don’t put your hope in it. Don’t try to be something in it. Don’t try to seek the praise of people in it. Leave the world.
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
So the first step of leaving darkness is, you leave the world and all of its darkness. Second stage is leaving darkness of the religious system while still being a believer. It says in verse 42 that many of even the authorities believed. Yet they feared the Pharisees. They did not want to be kicked out of the synagogue. Is this saving belief? Are these people saved? I don’t think so.
They left one form of darkness because they believe. They have some of the Light. But the darkness overcame them. The light did not conquer the darkness because the light is supposed to not only expose darkness, light also conquers darkness. Just a little candle, already you can see a little bit around the candle. The the darkness around the candle is defeated. But still we either believe or we don’t want to just be a little candle. We want to be a bright light. You just turn it on and everything is light. Even if it’s night time, you turn on the light and your home is bright. That’s what a believer wants. It’s supposed to be that we are a light that not only exposes the darkness but a light that defeats the darkness.
But these people who believed, did they defeat the darkness? Or did the darkness defeat them? I think the darkness in this case overcame them. It defeated them, meaning they are not saved. There are many with a religious mindset and even in the church today who are defeated by the darkness, yet, they believe. Because they believe, they’ve left the world in some sense. They believe in Jesus, but the world is still in them and they bring the worldliness into the church.
And at bottom, nothing really changes. Their values don’t change. Their goals don’t change.
They were greedy before they were Christian. They believe in Jesus and come into the church but they’re greedy in the church.
They wanted to be something before they were Christian. Now they have a God who they can pray to and and ask for God to bless them so they can become something. They wanted a pretty girl, a trophy wife before they were Christian. They want the same thing. Their values have not changed and they’re still in darkness. The darkness is overtaking them and there’s a false teaching that says, it’s okay, grace will forgive you.
We have to leave the darkness. And how do we leave the darkness? You come to the Light — Jesus Christ. When you come to the Light, you have to also remain in the Light and defeat all forms of darkness in you and around you.
The one that we have to specifically be wary about is in verse 42.
42 For fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
This is not just wanting to be famous. This is fearing rejection. This is fearing sticking out. Nicodemus was so brave to defend Jesus right when the Pharisees are plotting his death.
As a Believer we have to be prepared to be shunned. Many people in the church are comfortable to be in the church. It doesn’t cost anything to be in the church and the church is just trying to imitate the successful church down the street. It is very worldly. Nothing has changed and there’s a false teaching that lets them stay in the darkness while preaching about the Light.
As a believer, you have to overcome this desire to be praised, this desire to fit in, this fear of rejection. Because if you come to the Light because the vast majority of the people love the darkness, do you think you’ll have many friends if you come to the Light? Do you think you’ll be popular if you come to the Light? Was Jesus popular? was Jesus embraced by the religious system?
We have to leave not only the world, but we have to leave religion. We have to leave the religious system. That is just a another form of darkness that actually gives people a false sense of peace and fools them into thinking they are in the Light when they’re not. We as brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Light, you have to come to the Light Jesus Christ, and we have to walk with Him and walk in Him.
Saving faith and belief is described in verse 44.
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
See, that’s the key and the proof that you know that you did not only come to the Light once, but that you are walking with Him in the Light, is that you do not remain in darkness. That means the things that you are ashamed about, you don’t do it anymore because Jesus has set you free.
How can you defeat the darkness? Just turn up the light. How can you defeat every form of darkness in you? You have to come to the Light. That’s the only answer. Nothing else will solve your problem of darkness except coming to the Light and walking with Him and remaining with Him because if you remain in the Light, the darkness cannot remain.
And yet we have Christians saying darkness and light can commingle which is friendship with the world. Can you be friends with the world? You think it’s no problem. Everyone can love you and you can be popular in the world. Darkness and light can mix. Does that make sense? Jesus speaks so clearly that if you walk with Him and if you remain with Him, can darkness remain there? No.
How do you overcome darkness? You have to come to the Light and you have to remain with Him. You have to walk in Him. You have to walk in the Light while you have a chance. And this is a verse that promises freedom. You don’t have to lie anymore. You don’t have to be addicted anymore to immorality. You don’t have to be greedy anymore.
How can we defeat this darkness? Just come to the Light. Walk in the Light. Walk with the Light. The darkness cannot remain with you. And you will not remain in darkness.
Why do people, even after believing in Jesus, remain in darkness? Because they met Him once, but they stopped meeting Him. They met Him once, but they’re not walking with Him. They left Him several decades ago in a city far away. They’re not walking with Him anymore. They’re not remaining with Him. They’re remaining in darkness because they’ve left Jesus in the past. I met Him once. That’s why I still cheat. That’s why I still steal. That’s why I still murder. It’s because you’re not meeting Jesus on a consistent basis. That’s the only way to overcome darkness.
Let’s be a Christian like Nicodemus. We have nothing to hide. You can give all your passwords away. Let other people look at all the things that you searched, all the things that you look at. You have nothing to hide. You can give your bank account. You’re not going to hide all the ways you spend your money. You’re blameless. You’re a man of integrity, a woman of integrity. Nothing to hide. Can we be like that? Shouldn’t we be like that?
If our destiny is to be a son or daughter of Light, to become just like Jesus, then we must identify the darkness in ourselves. And the solution is only one — come to the Light.
This morning, if you want to see, but you can’t see, if you want to hear, but you can’t hear, if you want to understand, but you can’t understand, I can’t make you see, I can’t make you hear, I can’t make you understand. I could talk until I’m blue in the face, still, you will be blind or deaf or hard of heart. I can’t do anything for you.
Because if I see a majestic scene at Yosemite, I can describe it as best I can, but until you visit for yourself, you won’t know what I’m talking about. And so if that’s you this morning, just pray Lord. I want to see I can’t see but I want to see open my eyes.
Lord, I can’t hear, but I want to hear. I don’t love the darkness. I’m coming to the Light. I’m not hiding anything. I’m not pretending. I’m not being a hypocrite. Can you open my ears, Lord? I want my heart to understand. I can’t understand, but I want to understand.
As long as you don’t love the darkness, when you pray, Lord, I want to see, I want to hear, I want to understand, God will hear that prayer. As long as you don’t love the darkness, then God will hear that prayer sooner or later. He will open your eyes, open your ears, soften your heart. Just keep praying that prayer — Lord, I want to see, I want to hear, I want to understand.
For the rest of us, what form of darkness is remaining in your life? Jesus wants to set you free. Lying should not remain in your life. Stealing should not remain in your life. Addictions should not remain in your life. You can stumble on occasion because nobody’s perfect, but it should not remain as a pattern. You should not justify it and say, everybody’s like this. You should not tolerate even one shred of sin, of darkness. It should never become a pattern of your life. And the only solution is that you come to the Light and keep coming to the Light. And if you remain in the light, darkness will not remain. Because light conquers the darkness.
Not only does light expose, which is why everybody steps back when you walk into the room because you’re shining, you’re just like Jesus. Everybody who loves darkness, they step back when you appear, and eventually, they will hate you the more you speak the truth. They will hate you. You will have nobody around you. You won’t be popular. You won’t be famous.
For somebody whose destiny is to be a son or daughter of light, it comes with the territory. Jesus, we’re following You in the manner in which You lived. You set an example for us. And we say, Lord Jesus, if everybody leaves and all I have is You, I’m good with that. If I die early and I don’t accomplish anything, but I have You, I’m good with that. That is somebody who understands why Jesus came. He came to bring you out of this world. And to take every form of darkness out of you. So that you’re truly free.
Father, we just ask that this prophecy in Isaiah 6 would not be true of anybody in this room. Please, Lord. We don’t want to be blind and stay blind. We don’t want to be deaf and stay deaf. We don’t want to be lacking understanding in our hearts and stay that way. Search our hearts. If our heart loves darkness, I pray that You change it.
I pray that you would change our hearts. I pray that we would grieve over a heart that loves darkness. I pray that we would really grieve over the condition of our hearts. And that You, seeing the sincerity of our struggle, would help to change our hearts so that we don’t love darkness anymore.
We pray that you would call out many in the church out of darkness, out of the false teaching that says, grace covers over all of our sins and we can remain in darkness. No, that is not true. You say clearly in Your Word that sons and daughters, children of light cannot remain in darkness.
Forgive us for loving the praise of man. Forgive us for wanting to fit in even while claiming to be a follower of Jesus. Jesus, You are such a bright Light that shines in a dark world. You expose the darkness. That is why You are hated. And as ones who follow You, the more we shine, the more we’re going to be hated. The more we leave this world and the religious system, the more we’re going to be hated. It’s a spiritual principle.
Father, Nicodemus is such a great example. He did not love the darkness. He came to the Light. He had a conversation with You, Jesus, because he was a man of integrity and you vindicated his life. He did not love darkness. He did what was true in your eyes. He was a genuine truth seeker. And in John 7, he defends You before his peers. What courage that must have taken. What mockery he must have endured because he was ready to be kicked out of the synagogue. And at the end of his light, he is walking in the light. And John 19, he is bringing the 75 pounds of spices and he sacrifices this on the body of Jesus. To bury his Lord properly. And he’s doing this in the daytime, I presume, because he’s not hiding anymore. He is so bold. Certainly, you saved this Pharisee.
I pray that you would save the Pharisees from among us who still live in darkness in a religious sense. Save us, Lord. Bring us out of this darkened system. And if all we have is You, Lord Jesus, we’re okay with it. If everybody including the religious system looks down on us, so be it, Lord. We’re ready to die with You. We’re ready to live with You. We’re ready to do life with You. We just want to be with You.
And as we’re with You, all the darkness is defeated. Not only exposed, not only confessed, but defeated. Every deception defeated Every lie defeated. Every lying tongue rebuked and silenced. Every idol shattered. Every false stronghold demolished. Every addiction set free from. That is our calling, that is our destiny, to be a son or a daughter of light, to be completely free.
And how can we be free? Jesus, only You can set us free. Help us. We come to You, Lord Jesus, and we want to remain with You all of our days. Help us, Lord. Search our hearts. Thank you. In Jesus Name, Amen