23 Jan Jesus Is Our Polarizing God
In him [Jesus Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. John 1:4–10
Do you remember the cultural upheaval that took place not long ago when some businesses decided that their bathrooms were no longer for the two traditional categories – male and female? That issue reminded me of the time a sprinkler at a friend’s house accidentally sprayed a bees’ nest. In that one event, the collision of two worldviews was revealed.
The Bible presents a view of the world that is diametrically opposed to the way that many cultures think. This underlying difference is in large part responsible for many of the disagreements and divisions across politics, religion, spirituality, and morality.
Culture believes in monism. Monism does not like distinctions such as angels and demons, men and women, heaven and hell, right and wrong, truth and lies, people and animals, God and Satan, and good and evil. In monism, the biggest “sin” is making distinctions, divisions, and differentiations. Politicians will call this “binary thinking” like it’s a bad word that forces either/or rather than both/and.
The Bible teaches dualism. Dualism does like distinctions, is divisive, and says that God sees people, ideas, and actions differently. Simply stated, you cannot be a faithful Christian unless your mind thinks in dualistic categories like God does.
John begins his Gospel about Jesus Christ with dualistic thinking. Jesus is life, and without Him, there is spiritual death. Anyone who lives apart from Jesus is spiritually dead and will be eternally dead once they are also physically dead. Jesus is a matter of life and death. Jesus is light, and without Him there is moral, spiritual, and cultural darkness. Various religions, moralities, and spiritualties that teach we have a spark of goodness or light in us are simply part of the darkness. Our day has a lot of people with degrees and platforms paid good money to make a compelling case that darkness is now light. Isaiah 5:20 says of these folks, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” There’s always a buck to be made for espousing the moral virtues of the things we have parades for that we should instead be having funerals for.
The darkness is in us, and the light is in Jesus. Apart from Jesus, we are just part of the darkness fighting against the light. God’s first words in the Bible were, “Let there be light.” Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” Light comes to reveal, heal, and guide. Jesus does just that. He shows us our sin, He forgives and heals our sin, and He guides our life through this dark world like a flashlight on a midnight walk in the woods. Not everyone agrees with this, which is why Jesus is our polarizing God. Those who love darkness do not love Him.
Is there any area of your life right now that is darkness? A hidden, secret, shameful place of bondage, rebellion, or folly? How could you bring this into the light by inviting Jesus and a godly person to help you drive this darkness out of your life?
I will spend roughly an entire year preaching verse-by-verse through the entire Gospel of John and those sermons can be found for free each week after they are preached at MarkDriscoll.org.