Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Divine Light

Even without frequent references, the New Testament is far from silent on the topic of God's luminous characteristics. In 1 John 1:5, we have spelled out for us that "God is Light." When the apostle Peter was in jail, God sent a liberating angel, "and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell from his hands (Acts 12:7)." In the introduction to the Gospel according to John, we are told that

There was a man sent from God
, whose name was John.
The same came for a witness,
to bear witness of the Light,
that all men through him might believe.
He was not that Light,
but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
That was the True Light,
which lighteth every man
that cometh into the world (John 1: 6-9).

That Light was Jesus, the Word of God, the Son of God, who also was God. The apostle Paul tells us that Jesus was "the brightness of [God's] glory, and the express image of his person..." (Heb. 1:3). Paul ought to know; formerly known as Saul, he was an enemy of Christians. Saul tried all he could to discredit Jesus' teaching. One day, on his way to Damascus to round up Christians, Saul came upon a remarkable sight:

And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus:
and suddenly there shined around him
a light from heaven:
And he fell to the earth,
and heard a voice saying unto him,
Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
And he said, who art thou, Lord?
And the Lord said, I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest... (Acts 9: 3-5).

Needless, to say, this experience had quite an influence on Saul, as it resulted in his conversion to Christianity.