The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Isaiah 9:2
The seventh-grade Sunday school teacher asked her students to read the ninth chapter of Isaiah, where it talks about how -- because of Jesus -- "the people walking in darkness have seen a great light."
Amazingly, the following week when the teacher asked how many of her pupils had completed the assignment, almost every hand went up. Feeling confident, she asked, "Do you remember, in verse two, what the people saw?"
Nobody seemed to remember.
Indeed, a couple of hands flew to their Bibles and began to look up the passage. Undaunted, the teacher encouraged, "I'll give you a hint. The passage begins, 'The people that walked in the darkness ....'" Nobody was brave enough to answer. Finally, with a fair amount of frustration, she decided to bribe the class. "There's a candy bar for the first one who gets it right. 'The people that walked in the darkness ....'"
With the motivation of some sweets, hands popped up all over the place.
She called on one student. He answered, "The people walking in the darkness use less electricity." No, that wasn't right.
Another said, "The people who walked in the darkness stubbed their toes on the coffee table." No, that wouldn't do, either.
Another volunteered, "The people walking in the darkness are usually burglars."
One student, quite confidently said, "The people who walked in the darkness could really use a flashlight."
Just as the teacher was thinking about taking early retirement, one of the students found the passage and finished it, "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned."
In our age that story is especially appropriate. There are a great many people who see Jesus in different ways. For some He is a "philosopher"; for others a "teacher"; for others He has become a "giver of moral platitudes."
It is only by the Holy Spirit's power that we see Jesus for who He really is -- and was.
He is God's perfect Son who came into an imperfect world to seek and save the lost. Because He has fulfilled the Law, rejected every sin, and conquered death, all who believe on Him as their Savior are given eternal life.
By God's grace may you be among the called who, in Jesus, have seen God's great light.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, once we were doomed to darkness. Now because of the Savior's work we are brought into never-ending light. For this I give thanks. Now I also pray that others may also be moved into the brightness of Your love. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries