Just as darkness remained over that first creation until God said, “Let there be light”, so the apostle teaches that unbelievers remain in darkness until God ‘shines in our hearts’ with the light of the Gospel.’ I can vividly remember the moment the light shone on my darkened heart the night of my conversion. Walking out of the building where I had heard the Gospel, I looked around at the familiar surroundings of Miami, Florida and said, “Everything looks new!” I hadn’t yet read the Apostle Paul’s description of true conversion in II Corinthians 5:17; “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away—behold, the new has come!” Once my eyes were opened to see the Son, I became aware of his creation in a new way. I noticed birds, trees, and the sky, in a way I had never known. My eyes were opened to see Father, and I now saw Father’s world in a new way.
The Son of God described the apostle Paul’s ministry as that turning men and women from darkness to light (Acts 26:18). The Son of God said it well: “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” (John 3:19).
People resent the light because they prefer the darkness. That’s because light, by its very nature, exposes what is really there. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden, they thrust the world into deep darkness. Suddenly, they didn’t know who God was, or who they were. Why didn’t God immediately send his Son into the world? Because men and women now lived in such darkness, they could not handle the light in its fullness. It is like keeping someone for a week in the total darkness of a closet and then suddenly bringing them out into the light of a bright summer day at noon. Their eyes could not handle the light. God introduced light into the world incrementally. Each prophet who spoke introduced more light into the world.
Now that the Son of God has come, He has brought the full light of the revelation of God. The ultimate joy of those who have been brought out of darkness and into the light is to let their lights shine so brightly; others can see the “light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”