For God so loved the world, that He gave
His only begotten Son. . . (John 3:16)
John chapter 1 verse 9 expresses this in a slightly
There was the true light which, coming into
the world, enlightens every man. (NASV)
The Son of God came into the world. Also, this
light shines on each one of us individually. "The
true light which, coming into the world, enlightens
every man," is given to us on an individual basis.
There's a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart . . .1
Let's think about this light. People inclined toward
mysticism may decide that it's necessary to see a
physical light since the apostle Paul also saw a light.
So they go to pray in the mountains or to a prayer
house. They close their eyes tight and cry out,
"Lord, Lord!" and they see a sudden flash of light.
They get excited and take this as an answer to their
prayers. The light they've seen, however, could well
have been from the headlights of a car passing at
the foot of the mountain, or perhaps a firefly shimmering
near their closed eyes. This isn't the kind
of light that is referred to here in John's Gospel.
No light, no matter how bright it may be, is of any
use to our spirits without Jesus. The true light is
the light of knowing Jesus Christ, the light in the
heart of a person who discovers Christ.
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, some
fiery serpents came out and bit those who had
spoken against God and Moses. At that time, what
did God tell Moses to do? "Make thee a fiery serpent,
and set it upon a pole." (Numbers 21:8)
Looking up to the bronze serpent was the only way
for them to be healed. Believing also has to be this
easy. It's so simple, however, that some people have
a hard time with it. If we were to analyze this cure
based on our knowledge of chemistry, taking into
consideration how the poison from the snake enters
the body and causes the proteins in the body to
coagulate, it would be difficult to believe in a cure
that simply involved looking at a bronze serpent.
So it is that a person may perish by depending on
his own limited store of knowledge.
In the book of Isaiah there's a verse that says,
"Look unto me, and be ye saved" (45:22). It says,
"Look unto me."
There's a story about a young man in England
who was trying to make his way to church
through a snowstorm one winter's morning. It
was snowing so heavily that the road was blocked
and he couldn't get to his usual place of worship,
so he went into a little church that he happened
to pass on the way. There were less than
twenty people gathered there, and their pastor
hadn't arrived yet. In his place in the pulpit
stood a shabby man who looked like he might
have been a tailor. He was reading from the book
of Isaiah: "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all
the ends of the earth" (Isaiah 45:22), and then
he kept shouting, "Look unto me!" His pronunciation
wasn't even really correct and yet he repeated
these words again and again:
"The Bible says, 'Look unto Me!' It doesn't hurt
to look. You only have to look. Anyone can look.
Look unto me! I hung on the cross. Look unto
Me! I'm shedding drops of blood."
The speaker put everything he had into his sermon.
The young man wondered what in the world
this preacher was talking about.
"He may be uneducated," he thought, "but how
many more times is he going to repeat those words, 'Look unto me'?"
Then, suddenly, the preacher caught the young
man's eye and shouted,
"Why are you looking at me? Look to Jesus! Look
right now to Jesus who died for you!"
The young man was startled as he realized,
"Oh! That's right! Jesus died for Me!"
At that moment, he came to believe. Later, that
young man put everything he had into spreading
the gospel and became a great evangelist. His
name was Charles Spurgeon. Perhaps you have
heard of him.
1 Rufus H. McDaniel (1850-1940),
What a Wonderful Change, 1914