“Jesus said to the crowd, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’ After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them” (John 12:35-36).
In the United States two political parties represent most Americans in two almost equal groups of millions of people. What these two parties believe, what they say, and how they act are vastly different. And within each of these two parties their may be one or two groups of people, but from what the Bible teaches no more than one or two groups of people can be in each of these two parties.
Some, perhaps the majority, in each party think those in the other party are evil for a variety of different reasons, and perhaps they are right. In various ways, some in each party think people in both parties should come together, unite, and be at peace. Which really means for some in each group: in order to stop the fighting and have peace and unity you must agree with what our party says and does and leave your tent (party) and come into our tent (party). But this cannot happen when many people in both parties think the other party and the people in it are evil. Each party has different goals and objectives and different ways of trying to meet their objectives that contradict one another—they cannot come together without the help of Jesus.
Reason tells us that both parties with their opposite views and behaviors cannot both be right. Reason also tells us that they could both be wrong. So, we need to ask the question, “Can Jesus Unite Enemies?” And the answer is, “ONLY Jesus can Unite Enemies.” Only Jesus can stop the fighting and bring peace, and He has shown us it can be done and with His help we can do it too.
As we have studied in the Gospel of John the last twelve months, we have learned that there are two groups of human beings and only two, not three. Jesus taught that He is the Light, the Son of the Father, the Word made flesh, the Way, the Truth, and the Life; therefore, as we have learned, Jesus can and did unite enemies that hated one another. Because of Jesus, some people from these two groups came together and when they did, they ceased to be enemies because they had all become friends of Jesus. They came together on Jesus’ terms, not their terms. They put Jesus first ahead of their party and ahead of themselves.
Let’s look more closely at the two groups of people that Jesus united.
First: Jesus is the Light, and those who truly believe in and follow Jesus are children of light. Among other truths about Light (the Light that is Jesus), LIGHT means TRUE TRUTH. Children of light believe in Jesus, believe what Jesus taught, believe the Bible is true in all it affirms, try to obey and follow Jesus and His teachings with the guidance and the power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus obeyed the Father. They love God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. They love one another, and even their enemies, for God is love. They have come out of the tent that Jesus called “this world” and into His tent that He called the Kingdom of God.
Second: As we have seen from our study, the other group of people are those who walk in darkness. Those who walk in darkness and some of the children of light are in both political parties for different reasons. Let’s briefly condense what Paul wrote and see how the Bible describes the group that walks in darkness. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul wrote that those who walk in darkness are ungodly, unrighteous, and they suppress the truth (they lie by commission and omission). They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and they worship the creature (creation) rather than the Creator.
The Bible constantly warns the children of light not to be deceived by those who walk in darkness. To avoid being deceived, the children of light must follow the advice that Paul told Timothy to remember in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, “. . . . the sacred writings are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” The children of light build their lives on faith in Christ Jesus and following the Scriptures in every area of their lives with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells them. Children of light do not abandon their faith, their obedience to Jesus Christ in all things, and their commitment to stand up for an proclaim the truth when they work within a political party.
Notice: I did not call the children of light “Christians,” for not all “Christians” are children of light. Jesus warned in Matthew 7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?” And Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12-14, “Indeed, all who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But wicked people and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving others and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.” Those who walk in darkness do persecute the children of light, but they are deceived and deceiving others. You will find “Christians” in both political parties, but you cannot expect “Christians” who walk in darkness to behave, think, and talk like children of light. They don’t have the truth, the mind of Christ, and the other needed equipment that Jesus has given to the children of light.
Only Jesus Christ can draw someone who is deceived and walking in darkness to Him and only Jesus Christ can make someone a child of light. Jesus came into the world to do exactly that for in John 3:16, Jesus promised, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” And in John 6:37, Jesus promised, “Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away.” Children of light can help others see and come into the Light that is Jesus Christ, who will lead them out of the darkness and into the light.
Only Jesus can unite enemies, and He does so by making them children of God, children of light, on His terms when they enter the Kingdom of God. Furthermore, children of light will be friends with God and friends with one another forever. With the help of Jesus and the truth of the Bible, we can unite enemies, but we can only unite them when they become friends of Jesus and choose to come out of the darkness to live inside His big tent, the Kingdom of God.
To learn more about Jesus and the Gospel of John, visit the International Bible Study Commentary.
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