You are in a tunnel, black as night. You can feel the brick wall and the ground beneath your feet but can see nothing. Your eyes strain in both directions for the faintest ray of light. Then, you finally begin to focus on a faint speck of light; and as you move towards the light, hope rises as the light gets bigger and the end of the tunnel is eventually in sight!!
READ: John 9.
In this chapter, John tells us of a man who was born blind. No light at the end of the tunnel for him as he sat begging from unseen passers-by. A truly ‘hopeless’ situation – well, not quite!!!
In the previous chapter of John, Jesus had, once again, ‘ruffled a few religious feathers’ by announcing to the people that he is the ‘Light of the World’. As far as the blind man in chapter 9 was concerned, that claim meant nothing as all he knew was a world of darkness!
But on one particular day, this blind man’s life was about to change. As he sat begging, he may have overheard the conversation as to ‘who had sinned’, thus resulting in his blindness. Maybe he even asked the same questions of himself.
Jesus, the Light of the World, instructs the man to go and wash the mud paste from his eyes. He does what Jesus asks and there is no gradual brightening at the end of the tunnel for him – his darkness has completely gone – he can see!
For the first time in his life he was experiencing the beauty of sight! When, later in the day, he was threatened because he believed in Jesus; his reply was beyond contradiction, ‘Once I was blind but now I can see’ – no one could take that away from him!
As Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:8, ‘Once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light’…………
These past weeks and months, for many, have been dark days. Isolation, grief, the inability to be with friends and family, financial and employment uncertainty are just a few of the ‘dark’ issues that many of us are feeling at the moment. But when all seems lost, the ‘Light of the World stepped down into darkness’ – (I feel a song coming on)!! There is ‘light at the end of all of our tunnels’!
In 1939, at the beginning of World War 2, King George VI, in his Christmas Day broadcast to the nation, quoted a poem handed to him by his 13 year- old daughter, Elizabeth. The words read, ‘Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way’…….
This poem pointed to One who declared, ‘I am the Light of the World’, and today Jesus still takes hold of our hands and leads us through those ‘dark places’ to give guidance and support and to bring hope to all.