Jesus illuminates the darkness

A divine service brings light into the darkness: Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider brought a festive glow to the congregation of Saxonsea in South Africa shortly before Christmas by preaching about the light of Jesus Christ.

A divine service brings light into the darkness: Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider brought a festive glow to the congregation of Saxonsea in South Africa shortly before Christmas by preaching about the light of Jesus Christ.

In the Bible, light means the glory of God, His presence, and true knowledge, the Chief Apostle explained. Darkness, on the other hand, is the remoteness of God. “And darkness is the ignorance of God’s will and thus an image for sin,” he said. Jesus Christ brought light into the darkness. “He came to bring us the right understanding and the right knowledge of God and His will,” the Chief Apostle said. “He revealed to us the true nature of God and gave us the right understanding of God.”

Jesus illuminates the image of God

In the Old Testament, God was the Almighty who could not be seen. The people at that time believed that if a human being saw God, this person would die because it was not possible to see God and live. In addition, the people ascribed human qualities to God. “He reacted like a human being,” the Chief Apostle explained. “He regretted what He had done and wanted to change His mind because He was not happy with mankind. And when His honour was violated, He wanted the people to repair the injustice.”

But Jesus revealed the true nature of God. Through Him God Himself came on earth, visible, tangible, and perceptible to all our senses. As a true man, “He had the same life as other human beings”, the Chief Apostle explained. “He shared their fate. He suffered. He was hungry. He was thirsty. He had to suffer. He had to die.” This is how God wanted to show human beings: “I am with you. I am on your side.” Because God is love, and His love is so great that it always surpasses our understanding.

Jesus sheds light on the understanding of sin

The Old Testament understanding of sin is obscure. At the time, people thought that God punishes sinners. The sick, the poor, or anyone with a problem of any kind was stigmatised as a sinner. But then Jesus came. When a paralytic was brought to Jesus, He told him that his sins are forgiven. And what happened? Nothing visible, he was still paralysed. “That means that his sickness, the fact that he was paralysed, had nothing to do with his sins,” the Chief Apostle said. “This is only one of the consequences of the dominion of evil.” God does not want to punish human beings, but to deliver them from sin.

Jesus also highlighted another aspect of sin: “There is no hierarchy in sin.” Indeed, the perception is often that “the most serious sin is for sure the one committed by my neighbour”. Jesus showed that sin is absolute and that all are sinners. “Jesus was the only one who remained without sin,” the Chief Apostle said. We must therefore compare ourselves to Jesus.

Jesus brings light to all human beings

In our Bible text it says that the true Light shines on all human beings. “That means that no one is forgotten,” the Chief Apostle said. Nobody is too small and too poor not to be considered and loved by Jesus Christ.” Today’s society tends to reject many people and forgets them. Jesus, however, says, “I am on your side.” The Chief Apostle said, “He sees the deeds, but also the motivation. He hears the words, but He also sees the heart.” Jesus knows human beings better than we know ourselves because He considers everything, both the visible and that which is less visible. Jesus tells everyone: “Whoever you are, whatever your situation may be, whatever you have done, there is a way. There is hope. There is a light.”

The children of light

Whoever follows Jesus will become a child of light and do good works and produce fruits such as goodness, justice, and truth. “Let people see your good deeds so that they may praise God,” the Chief Apostle appealed to the congregation and urged that no one should be condemned, because in the end, we are all sinners.

Jesus warns against false angels of light

At the end of his sermon, the Chief Apostle made a point of warning against false prophets, as Jesus had done in His time. Paul had also warned the believers in his time: “Be aware that the devil disguises himself as an angel of light.” These false prophets make people believe that they can have a good life and escape suffering. “But if you follow Christ, it is to have eternal life.” There are also people who sell the word of God, who peddle it for their own profit. The Chief Apostle made it clear: “That is not our mission.”

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Katrin Löwen
South Africa, Chief Apostle, Divine service