Thursday, October 18, 2012

C'mon baby, Light my Fire!

“5 And this is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”  (1John 1)

Saturday it seemed so clear.  Lamps were the church.  Yesterday it seemed lamps were the Temple.  Jesus’ quote in Luke eleven says our eyes are lamps.  So which is it?  Are lamps churches, temples or eyes?

As with so much in the Word, the answer is, “Yes.”

A lamp is a vessel, fed by oil, bearing a flame to cast light in darkness.  If oil is the Spirit and light is Jesus then a lamp is a vessel, fed by the Spirit, bearing Jesus to cast light in darkness. 

Jesus is the Light.  The old covenant, the Tabernacle, the Temple and the Prophets all had the same job, This one came for a witness, in order that he could testify about the light, so that all would believe through him. That one was not the light, but came in order that he could testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to every person, was coming into the world.” (John 1)  The old Testament sacrifices did not take away sin, they merely pointed at the one who would.  The light coming into the world could be seen in microcosm in a lamp, on a stand in a holy place.  This is what Israel was, a Lamp to the world so that all may see God through them!  Their nation, their camp was a lamp lit path to Yahweh shining in a dark and fallen world.  All their laws, all their purity, were signs to the world and them that God was really real and could be found in the people of His covenant.

But they turned their eyes from the Light and hungered for the darkness around them instead.  They became blind slaves, lost and scattered, sheep without a shepherd torn by wolves and lions.  Dead.

But Jesus!  10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, and the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to his own things, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1)  The true light came, exposing all which had hid in shadow before.  He said to us, 17 Because you are saying, “I am rich, and have become rich, and I have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and pitiable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire, in order that you may become rich, and white clothing, in order that you may be clothed and the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed, and eye salve to smear on your eyes, in order that you may see.” (Rev 3)  Jesus was kinder to those who were humble because he could be.  You do not have to tell someone they are blind when they are painfully aware of it.  With the proud, he had to actually steer them into wall to make them “see” they could not see.  Jesus’ harshness with the Pharisees was actually love!  The Light attempted to show each one of us our blindness!  And we politely listened, respectfully disagreed and then barbarically slaughtered him.

Which is exactly what he knew we would do.  When he opened our eyes and we saw our nakedness, we were ashamed!  We tried to stamp out the flame of life exposing us and our sin and instead it consumed our sin and then the fire really spread!  Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, in the form of fire and wind, to his little stand of lamps.  They in turn went out immediately and set fire to the world!  16 For we did not make known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ by following ingeniously concocted myths, but by being eyewitnesses of that one’s majesty. 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father when a voice such as this was brought to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we ourselves heard this voice brought from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain…”

Pete refers to the Transfiguration, 28 Now it happened that about eight days after these words, he took along Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face became different, and his clothing became white, gleaming like lightning.” (Luke 9)

Even though he witnessed Jesus in all His shiny glory, Pete thought he had something even better than one old faulty memory of days gone by, “19 and we possess as more reliable the prophetic word, to which you do well if you pay attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 recognizing this above all, that every prophecy of scripture does not come about from one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2Pet 1)  Lamps!  Fed by the Holy Spirit!  Glowing weakly in comparison to the one whom they are but small copies until the Morning Star is revealed! 

We come to him poor, wretched, blind and naked and Jesus says, 55 “Ho! Everyone thirsty, come to the waters!

    And whoever has no money, come, buy and eat,

and come, buy without money,

    wine and milk without price!
Why do you weigh out money for what is not food,

    and your labor for what cannot satisfy?

Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,

    and let your soul take pleasure in rich food.” (Is 55)
And when we come, Jesus asks,“What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabboni, that I may regain my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go, your faith has healed you.”  (Mark 10)  Our eyes are open now.  Our nakedness clothed in His righteousness.  Our debt paid with gold refined by fire.  We are free, rich, fed and healed!

So what do we do now?

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