Broken Bread

Darkness to light and a light in the darkness

The excellencies of God mean what God is and what he does

Two paramount statements of Jesus to his disciples explicitly express the model of discipleship he desired. First, at the launch of his mission on earth, he chose his disciples by commanding them, “come and follow me.” All of them obeyed his call unhesitatingly. They followed him closely and enjoyed every bit of his miraculous life. Second, towards the end of Jesus’ ministry, he gave them another command, “go and make disciples.” Before his ascension into heaven, he gathered all his disciples around him and entrusted them with this Great Commission. He wanted all his coming (following) disciples to become going disciples. True discipleship inevitably includes these two phases— “coming” and “going.” The first command invites one to be a devoted disciple and the second command enables one to be a disciple-maker.

Similarly, 1 Peter 2:9 talks about a people who are called into the marvelous light of God. In their former state they were dejected, miserable, and condemned, but now they are called out of that gross darkness into God’s marvelous light. The darkness denotes the slavery of sin and the servitude of Satan they once were in. The state of being brought into the marvelous light depicts the privileges and the dignities of true Christians. They are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and God’s special possession. However, in the same text, Peter shows the other side of the coin. He observes that all those who are called out of darkness are now bestowed with a mission to proclaim the excellencies of God to the world that is still in darkness. In other words, all these prerogatives are given to the people of God with one purpose – that they may show forth the excellencies of God through their attitudes and actions. The excellencies of God mean what God is and what He does. Peter affirms that those who belong to God and have the privilege of knowing Him must make Him and His works of salvation known to the whole world. That is the very purpose of God in electing people and calling them out of darkness. Ironically, the sense of being called out of darkness often lead people to a spiritual complacency and they eventually become remiss of their charges.

In sum, Jesus’ discipleship model or Peter’s exhortation explicitly portray the purpose of the followers of Christ or the people who are called out of darkness. They ought to go out and proclaim the good news and shine forth as lights by demonstrating the excellencies of God through their words and conduct. When one’s state of coming reaches the state of going, and the state of being in the light reaches the state of becoming a light, then God calls one— “you faithful servant.” Highlight: Disciples ought to go out and proclaim the good news and shine forth as lights through their words and conduct.

Rev. Jackson Kurian

Rev. Jackson Kurian

Rev. Jackson Kurian is an ordained Pastor and Bible Teacher. He also serves as the Mission Director at Fellowship Ashram Church of India. He holds B.Th (FBC, India), M.Th (Laidlaw College, New Zealand), and M.A in Sociology (Karnataka University, India). He lives in Auckland, New Zealand with his wife Reny and two children, and teaches at Ebenezer Pentecostal church.

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