“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.” -The Rolling Stones
Sometimes we want and want and want, expecting to get what we want, not even asking if what we want is what we need. It is only in retrospect that we realize that getting what we need is much more important than what we want. Actually, sometimes it is a downright good thing that we do not get what we want and expect. Most definitely, this is the case for most, if not all of the people, waiting on a savior at the time of Jesus’ coming. Don’t get me wrong, they wanted and a got a savior. However, the savior they got was not the savior they wanted- but the savior they needed.
The Gospel according to John talks about Jesus as the Word and as the Light- the light that brings life. Even though, John adds, Jesus was the light, the darkness could not comprehend the light and those to whom the light came did not recognize him. How do you not recognize light? That seems impossible. That is part of John’s point. It seems impossible. It only happens when those to whom the light is coming are so bent on the light coming in a particular way, that they have their backs turned in rejection to the light’s actual coming–like standing with your back to the east watching for the sun to rise. Sure, people of Jesus’ day and before, expected a light to dawn, but the light they expected was so vastly different from what they got that they did not see the true light’s presence. What did they expect? They expected a lot, but not less than the light to come and expose their enemies and the sinners of the world that they might be judged and destroyed.
While the light did come and expose, but as for the second part, they got something entirely different. Jesus, the light of the world, did not come to expose and exploit, but came to expose and give life. Jesus came to expose that we are all in the same boat, sinners in need of a savior. The light came to give life!
The light came to reveal something else too–something directly related to the light’s life giving nature. The light came not just to reveal us, but to reveal what our Creator is really like. The light came to bring Glory to God. The God who is to be famous for being
full of grace and truth. Jesus is God’s glory. He reveals that God is a God who is a grace-filled, truth-filled, and the life-giver who lays down his life for the broken, destitute, and sinner.
Good thing we don’t always get what we want.