John 12:30-36

30Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. 31Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ 33He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

34The crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?’

35Jesus said to them, ‘The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. 36While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.’

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

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How tempting it is to listen to the “ruler of this world.” The siren song of the flesh sings a dangerous tune somewhere in the shadow regions of my mind. It lures me to the darkness and destruction that Jesus came to defeat.

When I heed this deadly voice, I am “overtaken” by the darkness. I do not know where I am going (John 12:35). The voices of the world take me to a lost place of confusion, doubt, uncertainty, and fear.

But, Jesus says that, in him, “the ruler of this world will be driven out.” This is the truth to which I need to cling. Jesus has done his work. “The ruler of this world” has been defeated. Despite all appearances to the contrary, the reality is that the power of “this world” has been broken. When I heed the voice of “the ruler of this world”, I am listening to an illusion. The only language this voice knows is the language of lies.

I no longer need to “walk in the darkness” to which lies lead. I “have the light” that I need. It resides within me. Whenever I abandon the call of the world, and surrender to the peace, beauty and love that Jesus embodied, I find that light that is my true and abiding nature.

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What is it that makes the call of “the world” so tempting? What are the consequences I see when I follow the voices of “the world”?

Dieric Bouts (1415-1475) The Last Supper Haarlem, Netherlands