"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." John 3:19-20
Why do people not come to Jesus? It's because no one likes to have his deeds exposed and reproved as evil and wrong. Instead, we would prefer to justify our actions and keep our sins and shortcomings hidden and out of sight. It is for this very reason that people do not come to Jesus, the Light of the world (cf. John 1:1-5; 8:12).
To come into the presence of Jesus Christ, the holy Son of God in human flesh, is to come into the light; for Jesus lived a holy life, and He teaches us what true holiness is. The light reveals our utter sinfulness and our failures to measure up and keep God's commandments, even when our failures are in the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (consider Jesus' Sermon on the Mount and His many rebukes to those who were outwardly righteous in His day)!
And, in our day, too, people reject Jesus and do not come to Him because they do not want to face up to the fact of their own sinfulness and shortcomings. They don't want to hear that even their best righteousnesses are "as filthy rags" in God's eyes (cf. Isa. 64:6). Nor do they want to repent of their evil ways and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and for His help and strength to amend their ways and live in accord with God's holy Word!
Therefore, they stand condemned for refusing to come to Jesus, the Light of the world and their only hope of salvation. Instead of coming into the light and admitting and acknowledging their utter sinfulness and then turning to Jesus and His shed blood for cleansing and forgiveness, they turn away from the light and continue on in darkness!
This is why church services in which God's Word is faithfully proclaimed are so poorly attended. People would rather not hear the truth! They do not want to have their sins exposed and reproved for what they are! And they do not want to repent and turn to Jesus for cleansing and a new life!
On the other hand, as we read in 1 John 1:7-9, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
And why? Because "Jesus Christ the righteous ... is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:1,2). Jesus was lifted up and suffered and died on the cross so that we might look to Him in faith and not be condemned on account of our sins but receive God's gift of eternal life. It is as Jesus said in John 3:14-15: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life."
To walk in the light is to let the light of God's Word shine upon our lives, revealing our sins and shortcomings, but then looking in faith to Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice on the cross for pardon, forgiveness and life everlasting.
God, grant that we do not turn away from Jesus and His Word but come to the light, repent of our sins and trust in Jesus Christ for our salvation!
Dear Lord Jesus, the true light of the world, shine into my heart, expose and reprove my sin, and cleanse me through faith in Your shed blood. Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected]. More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.org. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]