About six years ago, I developed cataracts in both my eyes. I first noticed it when I started seeing halos around lights. When I drove at night, the headlights of the cars coming toward me spread so far, I couldn’t see the cars. I had to stop driving at night, because I couldn’t see the road.
That is what Jesus is warning about in these passages. When your eyesight is bad, you’re in darkness. And when you’re in darkness, you can’t see where you’re going.
People who are in darkness may not necessarily know it. They think they have light, but it’s actually darkness. Most people think they know some sort of truth. They have a sense of right and wrong, a code of sorts, and they try to live by it. It’s probably based on their experiences, their desires and some sort of teaching they’ve received. They find a cause and throw themselves into it – environmentalism, tolerance, social causes, politics. Or they live by a philosophy like, “Respect me and I’ll respect you.” But because their vision isn’t based on the of light of God’s truth, their philosophies fail. Like the halos that I see at night, the light they see actually blinds them and makes the darkness worse.
Because they are in the dark, they don’t know where they’re going. They may have a goal in mind, and they try to get there, but even if they know the way, they can’t stay on the road. They can’t see it.
People living in darkness need a light to show them the way. People living in darkness do evil things and don’t even know they are evil. People living in darkness need a light to see the truth. People living in darkness are lost.
I know and love a lot of people who are living in darkness and don’t know it. Thanks to God’s love and goodness, I have a message of hope for them. A light has come to dispel the darkness. His name is Jesus and He was born on Christmas. (John12:46)
Christmas is a celebration of the end of the darkness.