no more shame & blame game | John 12.44-47
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
John 12:44-47 | ESV
Their ears may have been shut and their eyes closed, but Jesus wasn’t finished. He had one more thing to say, and say it he did with the volume cranked all the way up:
When you trust in me, it’s not me you’re trusting but my Sender; to see me, is to see him – it’s that simple. My arrival on the scene heralds the arrival of a new day, and anyone who really believes throws open the shutters and steps out into the daylight – and they’re taking notes on what they hear and see. Anyone who hears the sunrise in my voice but stays wrapped up in the blankets of their dark status quo – I’m not blaming or shaming them. I haven’t come to play the shaming and blaming game with the world, I’ve come to bathe the world with healing and wholeness. MAV
These are Jesus’ final public words before retreating to the seclusion of the upper room, and he serves up a huge reminder of his purpose that, judging from how we too often conduct ourselves in this world, we need to hear as much as anyone who was present to hear it two millennia ago.
He didn’t come to kick at the darkness, he came to turn on the light.
He didn’t come to shame and blame unbelievers, he came to let the light of life shine through their shuttered windows.
He didn’t come to lambast the world and then roast it in his wrath, he came to bathe it with healing and wholeness (aka “salvation”).
It’s so easy for us to reduce Jesus to the latest bad version of a religious reality TV show – “Heresy Hunters.”
Jesus is the sun rising over the horizon.
Darkness does not need to be assaulted or feared by the sun.
It simply retreats before it as everything becomes light.
As Jesus followers we are shaped to be light bearers, not darkness fighters.
We are salve promoting healing and wholeness, not salt rubbed into wounds.
Perhaps this is the most remarkable things about Jesus final words in the face of his total, humiliating rejection: he didn’t pass the rejection back. He words aren’t dripping with bitter revenge or recriminations at their “not getting it.”
At least that’s not what I hear.
Just healing light bathing the world and inviting all who would to step out into his healing warmth.
It’s the Jesus playbook we could all stand to spend more time reading – and executing.
How is God calling you to break with the religious game of “blaming and shaming”? How are you being challenged to simply be light in a world that doesn’t see it – yet?
Abba, let my words, my actions, my very life embody your first spoken word over creation: “Let there be light!” Let your light through me bring healing and wholeness to dark places today. Through Christ.