It dawns on me!

 

When Jesus heard that John had been thrown into prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali — to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; and to those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Mathew 4, 12 - 17

 

 

Dear readers,

 

Isn´t it somehow strange to see what Jesus did? John is arrested, and  in prison. But Jesus does not visit him. He does not visit his relative (the two mothers are related, see Luke 1:36), he does not visit the man who baptized him. He also does not demand his release. He continues on his way  to Capernaum.

 

Later on, Jesus will say: I was in prison and you came to visit me. (Mathew 25:36) Jesus wants mercy. Charity is not a theory! Is Jesus ruthless with John now? I think no. Jesus does what the prophet Isaiah announced a long time ago: “Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress” (Isaiah 9:1). Jesus is the light of the world and he brings this light to his people. That's his mission. That is the will of the Father in heaven.

 

Thus begins the Gospel of John: "Life was In HIM and that life was brought as the light to all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."(Jn. 1, 4 - 5). Jesus Christ brings light into all darkness. He penetrates the darkest thoughts with his glory. He can make every heart and every face shine through his love. His love brings warmth into every  cold heart.

 

Jesus seems to expect from  John to endure the darkness of captivity. He is sitting in a death cell. Later on he will even be executed.  - German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer fought against Nazi Tyranny. In December 1944, while he was in prison, he wrote the song "Wonderfully salvaged by good powers, we confidently expect what may come. God is with us in the evening and in the morning, and certainly on every new day. "On April 9, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was executed by the Nazis.

 

Since then, Dietrich Bonhoeffer's song has become a song of comfort and hope to many people. We evangelical Christians sing it till today in our services in church.

 

In many countries, Christians today face the threat to be arrested, imprisoned and even killed due to their faith in Jesus Christ. But the light of Jesus shines forth. The light of God cannot be imprisoned! The gospel cannot be locked away behind prison doors.

 

Nazi Germany was a "nation living in darkness" (Matthew 4:16). I am thankful that today I am allowed to live in a country where, as a Christian, I am free to live by my faith. I am grateful that one day it dawned on me: Jesus Christ is the light of the world. He is stronger than all darkness. Even if a small match can bring light into a dark night, how much more does Jesus Christ bring light into all darkness with his presence. In the darkness of fear, of loneliness, of illness, of grief.

 

I wish you, for the coming days, that you may get the chance, to bring this ray of God's love into the life of somebody you meet.  So that you may be in a situation to bring hope, comfort and warmth through a comforting word, through a song, or through prayer to another person.  Down the way, where there is still fear and darkness. So that it dawns and the sun will rise even there!

 

God bless you on your way!

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