Blinded by the Light
I wonder what the weather was like when the Apostle Paul journeyed down the road to Damascus? Because of Paul’s treacherous plans to murder disciples of the Lord or to drag them into prison, I can picture dark ominous clouds overhead, literally close to weeping for its persecuted saints; but there’s no guarantee that it was not a sunny day when Paul was stopped dead in his tracks by the brilliant light of the Lord. You see Paul thought he was enlightened; he thought he had clear vision. He believed he had a purpose and a plan that came directly from God. Yes, I think it might have been a sunny day as Paul traveled to Damascus, determined to fulfill his duties as a Pharisee.
Perhaps Psalm 36:9 can shed some light on this concept for it says “in your light we see light.” “In your light we see light?” This made me think about going to the dermatologist. When I have a dermatologist appointment, it’s usually daylight. There are lights on in the office, but it’s not until the doctor shines a very bright light on my face that he sees what is truly going on. He sees all the blemishes and imperfections, and unfortunately, he sees the lines! He can now tell if there is a cancer growing that I don’t know about. The light within the light exposes what is really true.
According to The New Interpreter’s Bible, “In your light we see light” means in God’s light there is his favor, his salvation, his deliverance and it is the opposite of darkness. It might be perfectly bright outside but until the light of Jesus shines on us, we don’t know that we truly need deliverance from our sins and that we need what this light has to offer.
So I think when Paul was blinded by the light of the glory of Jesus Christ, Paul saw light in the light. Jesus revealed Paul’s imperfections; Paul realized that his mission was a cancer, was misguided and the journey he was on was truly dark, even though it appeared to be in the light. He had tried to destroy the “light in the light” but you know what, the light always prevails and this time, it transformed Paul into one of the greatest evangelists of all time.
According to Acts 13:7, Paul says the Lord commanded him to be a light for the Gentiles. Paul, like Jesus, is called to be a light in the light to people living in the Hellenistic period, a period of time where there was a great deal of intellectualism and enlightenment, but within the light of the Hellenists, there was darkness and they still needed to know the Savior.
Just like Paul, each of us probably thought at one time we were walking in the light when we really weren’t. We had no idea it was truly dark until Jesus’ light shined his light on us exposing us for what we really are, blemishes and all. And just like Paul, we are told that we as Christians are to be the light of the world.
Our world today is much like the Hellenistic world, full of information, thanks to the world wide-web and cable television, but despite this overload of information, there are plenty of enlightened people who don’t think they need the Lord. Yes, the sun is shining in their world but they live in spiritual darkness and need us to shine our light on them. The brilliant light of Jesus reflecting off of us can have such a powerful impact on our family, our friends and our neighbors, so much so that they too will be drawn to the light within the light and may realize that what they thought was the right path, was really all wrong.
So is our light on, or is it off? Can people see the blazing fire of our faith from miles away or is our smoldering fire unnoticeable? My prayer is that others will see our light in the light and that it will shine so bright that those around you are blinded by its glory and just like Paul, will be transformed.