It’s easy to hear judgement in our culture:
You should look skinnier.
You should be a better parent.
You shouldn’t use your money that way.
You shouldn’t use that brand—it causes cancer.
There are a thousand unspoken messages of judgment we take in each day. Most people don’t mean to speak judgment, but how often does it press in unintended and uninvited? We can let them roll off, and we frequently do, but sometimes they start to work on us, even though we thought we bounced them off.
Where do you hear judgment from this world the most, on what topics or in what circles?
Instead of trying to escape all the judgement, let’s proclaim a new one today. This judgement combats all the others, that brings light into a dark world and replaces the noise inside our heads and in our social media feeds.
Read John 3:16-21. You’ll hear some beloved verses, but look for this one word and circle it in your Bible or jot it down on a piece of paper — judgement:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Now go back and find the word judgment again. If it’s circled, bingo, it’s easy! Next, underline in our Bibles or write next to the word judgement on your paper what the judgement is according to John 3:19.
The Light has come.
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
For us, that’s all the judgement we’ll ever need… Light has come. The Spirit is in us from our baptisms and we stand praising the Lord that our sins are forgiven and there is no condemnation. Because of His resurrection, we too are resurrected into light in this life, not death.
You see, God loves light. In Him there is no darkness, and so everything touched by Christ is light. The world won’t get it. We shouldn’t be surprised when we see evil and darkness around us because people naturally love darkness; it’s the stain of original sin, and satan perpetuates that sin and shame for his benefit. With Christ, though, the judgment for us is Light. Someone can reveal something about us, poke at our tender places of sin and shame, but the judgement doesn’t change:
Our judgement in Christ is Light.
Sometimes I wonder when I feel judged if I just whispered “Light” if it might make a difference, if it might fix my heart and mind on the love of my Father, the mercy of my Savior, rather than the hurt of my neighbor. Jesus saves me dying on the cross and rising from a tomb, and He continues to save me with in this one word of judgement:
John 1:4-5 —
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
In Him was resurrection life and power from the beginning and it certainly is here, now, with us as He dwells in us. No dark judgement can overcome it. He is in us and with us. Jesus saves:
The only judgement that we need— Light of the world, Savior.