Podcast Reflections

Reflection on John 12.44-50 (Easter 4: Wednesday; Easter Season)

Listen to a reflection for Easter 4: Wednesday, 3 May 2023, on John 12.44-59 (Easter Season)

John 12.44-50

Jesus cried aloud: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.’ 


Jesus cried aloud: ‘I have come as light into the world.’

Blindness is one of those disabilities that most people fear. Even though deafness is deemed to create a greater sense of isolation, the thought of not being able to see the world in which we live gives rise to a great sense of apprehension and fear. It is through our sense of sight that we experience so much in this world. The body language of others, the imminence of danger and the comprehension of our words can all be seen in a moment. We do not need to lose our sight to feel deprived of this vital sense. When we find ourselves in a dark place we come to know how debilitating blindness might be. When a light shines into that darkness we feel a sense of consolation and relief.

The darkness which inhibits our words and actions does not have to be physical, of course. Intellectual and spiritual blindness can be just as life-limiting. A refusal to engage with the call of God in our lives can result in a blindness that damages us as well as those amongst whom we live. If we are not attentive and careful our self-reliance can leave us in the darkest of places … the place where we believe we can be totally self-sufficient … the place where the darkness is impenetrable.

In the last of his Narnia Chronicles, C. S. Lewis describes the group of dwarves who are given the opportunity to enter into the promised eternal realm of a new heaven and a new earth. For the purposes of the story, the gateway into that wonderful place is through an old, dirty shed. Other characters are thrown through that door by their captors and they realise the place they have entered. The dwarves are not so open to new ideas. Instead they sit in a self-imposed darkness that shields them from the light Christ brings into this world, and that certainly illuminates the heavenly realm.

When we have lived in a place of darkness the glare of a bright and penetrating light can be painful to the eyes. As the light of Christ shines into our lives, we can feel a similar pain. But, that pain is passing if we can bring ourselves to repent and follow the path illuminated by the light. Then, as we get used to the new light, as we look around us, we will find ourselves in a very different world, a world which is filled with the love and praise of God himself.

Let us pray that the scales may be lifted from our eyes and that we might rejoice in the light of Christ and that, through us, that light might shine into all the dark corners of this world.