One of the most well-known stories in the Bible tells of the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Nicodemus, a Pharisee and religious leader, could tell there was something about Jesus that he should pay attention to. He was so fascinated by what he saw and heard that he wanted to know more and wanted to hear it directly. He had questions of the hardest kind, questions of faith. So, he visited Jesus under the cover of darkness to find the answers that his heart was desperate to find. He had to come at night so the other leaders would not see him hanging out with Jesus.
Many people know this chapter by its most quoted verse in John 3:16 that reads “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” as Jesus is giving the basics to his new friend. This verse, however, is not my favorite of that chapter. My favorite is John 3:21, mostly because it is the verse that brings me the reality of a convicted heart. I don’t think it was any accident that last words of the conversation with a religious leader that came to him in the darkness of night had to do with the responsibility to stand in the light so others may see.
As someone who talks so much about light, I am going to admit I am not always standing in it. Sometimes I do really good things under the cloak of darkness where no man can see the testimony it could hold. Sometimes I forget to lead with my God instead of my mouth as I “be a good person” but neglect to tell them of the one who got me there. Sometimes I forget to tell people about the one who never forgets my name. Sometimes I am so proud of myself I stand in front of the light instead of allowing it to shine through me so others can see.
Sometimes I am Nicodemus, knowing that it is easier to connect to Jesus when no one is looking. In verse 21, Jesus reminds Nicodemus and me that we are missing the point. Because what comes after the comma is the part that matters, “so that his deeds will be revealed as having been performed in God”. I must stand in the light so others can see it wasn’t ever about me. If I want to live by the truth, I have to hang with Jesus in the light.
I have to be in the light so all can be revealed. Oh boy. Revealed. To make known. To allow to be seen. Yup, nothing scary with that.
But revealed it what it takes. My thoughts must be revealed. My heart must be revealed. God’s truth must be revealed. So they know. So they know I had nothing to do with it. I am not going to lie. Some days it is easier to stand in the dark. But that is not what he asked me to do. He asked me to stand in light. He is asking me to be willing to be revealed. Just like Nicodemus.
Dear God, guide me into visibility. A light for the world to see. It is easier sometimes to not rock the boat and hide in the shadows as I praise your name. I ask you, Lord, to bring me to the light and to the opportunities to shine for your glory no matter how dark the night may be.