The Light Shines
Something special often happens when you make a habit of reading an Old Testament chapter and a New Testament chapter in the same sitting. Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 3 and John 1–different texts from different testaments about different people in different eras, but as you read those chapters back-to-back, the light reflected from one to the other and back again reveals incredible things.
In Exodus 3, Moses is shepherding the flock of his father-in-law when an angel of the LORD appears to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush.
“Moses, Moses! … I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob … I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey…” (Exo 3:4, 6-8)
“If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.'” (Exo 3:13-14)
God’s message to Moses is clear: I have seen. I have heard. I know. I have come down to deliver. I will lead them to the land I have promised. You can believe that promise because I AM.
Light shines from Exodus 3 in the form of a burning bush. But if you read John 1 in the same sitting…
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (1:1-5)
Who is this “Word”?
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. (1:9-13)
Who is this “light”?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth … For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (1:14-17)
Light shines from Exodus 3 in the form of a burning bush; light shines from John 1 in the form of God’s own Son, and the message continues to be clear: I have seen. I have heard. I know. I have come down to deliver. I will lead all who receive me–who believe in my name–out of slavery, into glory. You can believe that promise because I AM.
“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35)
“I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
“Before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58)
“I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11)
“I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
“I am the vine.” (John 15:5)
In Exodus 3, Moses hid his face. “For he was afraid to look at God” (3:6). In John 1, the invitation is extended to all to look God square in the face. “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.” (1:18)
He sees. He hears. He knows. He has come down to deliver. He can lead you home. You can believe his promises because, “I AM.”