Open our eyes, Lord
We have seen what the prophets said about the Light that was to come, and we've seen what Jesus' followers had to say. Later, Jesus Himself boldly declared that He was the Light. He not only revealed what darkness looked like in the human heart, but showed the power of His Light to transform it.
In the familiar story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8), we see Jesus' forgiveness and mercy to a sinner. This was played out against the iron-clad, law-enforcing Pharisees who would stone her on the spot. But after Jesus granted her forgiveness, He turned and spoke to the Pharisees:
"I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness,
but have the light of life."
~ John 8:12
An interesting wrap-up to that drama. Implication? Their merciless self-righteousness actually came from darkness. Jesus was showing the heart of the Father--His deep desire to bring His loved ones back to Life. Mercy, grace, second chances. The path back is Jesus.
He says it again in John chapter 9, where we see Him healing a man born blind--another beautiful picture of God's illumination of human darkness and misery. This poor man had literally only ever known 'darkness' and was gloriously healed. Jesus explains to His disciples:
"I must work the works of Him who sent me ...
As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
One small detail, though--Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. An unforgivable offense in the eyes of the Pharisees. Instead of glorifying God for His mercy to the blind man, they create a furor trying to trick the healed man into condemning Jesus. Their unbelief and hard hearts made them blind to God's mercy, the "peace, goodwill toward men" sung by the angels the night Jesus was born.
The Father's mercy to us is Jesus. Thank You for opening our eyes, dear Lord, and for setting us free to walk in Your Light!