How to Like the Way You Look in Broad Daylight

Jesus performed his miracles at weddings (John 2:1-11), in wide open spaces (Matthew 14:15-21), on busily traveled roads (Luke 8:40-48), and often entirely in broad daylight. It’s not that he never performed a miracle at night or among a mere few, but it was not the norm.

G.K. Chesterton has an interesting take on the timing of miracles:

For miracles should always happen in broad daylight. The night makes them credible and therefor commonplace. (Chesterton’s The Noticeable Conduct of Professor Chadd.)

What is it about night that lends credibility to miracles? It might be the ease with which the seemingly supernatural can be explained away (“It was just the way the shadows played, or it was just the wind howling, or there was a last minute switch under cover of darkness”) or it might be that people are more easily spooked at night (“That place gives me the creeps; I could feel something unworldly in the air”).

And as Jesus said, darkness gives cover to those who want to hide their deeds.

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. (John 3:20.)

It is no wonder then that darkness is when his enemies came for him.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:52-53.)

Giotto di Bondoni, The Arrest of Christ (1304-06) Wikipedia

What horrific words: “But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.” Darkness of this late hour hid their actions from the scrutiny of the thousands of people of Israel who had come to Jerusalem for the annual Passover feast, who had been in the temple courts when Jesus taught all who were present, the hours of daylight when Jesus was right under the very noses of those chief priests and temple guards.

If they had remembered their scripture, they’d have known there is no cover in darkness:

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

    and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

    the night will shine like the day,

    for darkness is as light to you. (Psalm 139:11-12.)

Their conduct and decisions about Jesus are the opposite of what Jesus had been teaching his followers.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16.)

Johann Christoph Weigel, Lamp on a Stand (1695) (Wikipedia)

How is it that you can be the light of the world? Because of who Jesus is:

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12.)

You are the light of the world because you have the light of life, and so you can shine as the light of the world himself shines. This is another miracle.

Shine on.

***

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5 Responses to How to Like the Way You Look in Broad Daylight

  1. Pingback: How to Like the Way You Look in Broad Daylight post by Tim Fall — @tim_fall Tim’s Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another | Talmidimblogging

  2. What an interesting connection between miracles and daylight. I had never thought of that before.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I love being reminded that I have the LIGHT of the world in me…. this was so good.

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