So the crowd answered him, “We have heard from the Law that Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.
I Was Fumbling With The Light
Bicycling is surprisingly dangerous. It’s more dangerous than bungee jumping, snowboarding, downhill skiing, or even riding a motorcycle. It also happens to be one of my favorite activities. Because cycling is so dangerous, I like to ride roads where traffic is light for the added safety. Because cars are the biggest threat to a cyclist. I was riding on such a road on my way home to write this post. NW Springville Road is its name. From NW Skyline Blvd. it drops vertically the better part of 1,000 feet.
It’s a steep grade so I’m traveling fast. I made it almost a mile down the mountain when I decided to put my headlight in flashing mode to make myself more visible to cars, you know, for safety. But I was having trouble with the button. So I’m fiddling with the button trying to get the light into flashing mode. And I’m still fiddling and fumbling in the middle of the right hand lane as I enter into a right hand curve in the road. But I’m feeling confident because this road only has light traffic.
And then, out of nowhere, this car comes flying by me on my left. I almost flew off the bike I was so startled. He was so close I could have reached out with my left hand and touched his vehicle. As he passed me he was partly in the oncoming lane going around this blind curve.
A little later I saw him pass a car in front of him in similar fashion. Shortly after that another cyclist caught up to me and told me he saw the whole thing and that the guy came out of nowhere and passed him the same way he passed me.
I told him, “I thought I was a goner.”
He told me, “I thought you were a goner too.”
Fortunately the only bad that came out of all this was a lecture from Kathy on bicycle safety.
While You Have The Light
In our text the crowd asks Jesus, rather cynically, “Who is this Son of Man?”
They don’t realize it, but this is the last chance for them to hear Jesus. These are his last words to the public before the Sanhedrin and Pilate crucify him.
They don’t realize this is their last chance, but Jesus does. And he says, “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”
The Dangerous Life You Live
We live dangerous lives. Before you judge me (rightly so) as an adrenaline junkie, you should realize you engage in dangerous activities too. Driving is seriously dangerous. You travel at more than a mile a minute surrounded by steel vehicles weighing thousands of pounds also traveling more than a mile a minute. It only takes one crazy driver, like the guy who almost sideswiped me today, and you’re a goner.
Lynn and Dan Wagner, and their two daughters Mandie and Carrie volunteered to clean up the beach in Santa Cruz each night after Luis Palau’s Christian Festival there in September of 2001. Late one night after they finished they were driving home and a woman driving under the influence ran a stop sign and crashed into their van. Lynn and Dan were in serious condition and had to be rushed to the hospital. Mandie and Carrie died.
Or maybe you eat dangerously. Maybe you’ll succumb to a cardiac event of some kind. (That almost happened to me once.) Or maybe you’ll die of pneumonia. Just by spending time around other people you’re subjected to possible respiratory infection.
These dangers are real. We all die and what’s mentioned here are three of the most common ways it happens.
I thought I was going to die today. The cyclist behind me thought I was going to die today. None of us knows when it will happen but we’ll all die one day. You may not realize it, but this could be your last chance, your last chance to respond to Jesus. If you’re not a believer this could be your last chance to believe in the light. And if you are a believer, this could be your last chance to respond to Jesus by surrendering your life to him, completely, holding nothing back.
When Luis Palau went to console Lynn and Dan Wagner in the hospital, from her hospital bed Lynn said to him: Mandie and Carrie saw the face of Jesus last night.
Surrendered to him, completely, holding nothing back. Isn’t that who you want to be the day you see him face to face?
If it is, give yourself to him now.
This could be your last chance.
“While you have the light, believe in the light.”
List of causes of death by rate, Wikipedia
Lynn Wagner Testimony, Aglow International Prison Ministry
Luis Palau, Tell Them Who I Am, Beaverton Foursquare Church, Sep 03, 2017
Image of Danger sign via Pixabay — Creative Commons