Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.John 3:18-21
One of the most famous verses in the Bible is John 3:16. I would venture to say that if you stopped people randomly on the street many of them would be able to quote this verse whether they believe it or not. This verse is kind of like the “brand” of Christianity, it is proudly displayed at sporting events and is sometimes shouted by zealous Jesus lovers through bullhorns on street corners. This is all very good but do you know what any of the other verses in the third chapter of John say?
The other day I was thinking about John 3:18-21 and came to the realization that in a way (at least in my twisted mind), Jesus said that people are a lot like cockroaches. Cockroaches scurry away from the light, run in packs, draw their subsistence off the hard work of others (ie. pests), and poop and breed in the dark. I try not to think about cockroaches too often because they make my stomach churn but they are fascinating creatures. For instance, did you know there is actually one species of cockroach that is actually drawn to the light? According to Wikipedia:
Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and will run away when exposed to light. A peculiar exception is the Asian cockroach, which is attracted to light. Another study tested the hypothesis that cockroaches use just two pieces of information to decide where to go under those conditions: how dark it is and how many other cockroaches there are. The study conducted by José Halloy and colleagues at the Free University of Brussels and other European institutions created a set of tiny robots that appear to the roaches as other roaches and can thus alter the roaches’ perception of critical mass. The robots were also specially scented so that they would be accepted by the real roaches.
So how about it? Which type of cockroach are you? Do you prefer the dark because your deeds are evil or are you the rare species of cockroach that is drawn to the light? The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and deserve extermination. But the Good News is that if we scurry to the light as He is in the light we will not be smashed by the sandal of the Master. In fact, the Bible says that we will be washed clean by the blood of Christ and transformed by Grace into a thing of beauty that is suitable for God’s Kingdom.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.– 1 John 1:5-9
Dear Lord, forgive us when we act more like cockroaches than butterflies. Help us to give up the deeds of darkness and to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to your Glorious light so that we can be transformed into the image of your Son. Help us to love the Truth of your Word more than the lies of the flesh. Lord we want to be things of beauty, not objects of scorn and disgust. Have your way with us and change our sinful hearts so that You alone can be glorified by our faith and good deeds that are done in your Holy and precious name. We love your presence Lord…you are lovely.