If you’ve ever lived in an apartment above a store (I have!), it is very likely that you have encountered that dreaded and reviled pest – the cockroach. And if you’ve ever encountered cockroaches, you know that they tend to go about their business in the dark and will scatter when a light is turned on. Cockroaches have an aversion to light. Years of experience has taught them to fear the light, knowing that, in the light, they are exposed and become highly vulnerable to predators or to a size 10 shoe.
Evil is like a cockroach. It operates in the darkness and those who practice evil love the darkness, and hate the light. In the third chapter of John’s gospel, Jesus is speaking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus. In verses 19 and 20, Jesus tells Nicodemus that “the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” The Light that Jesus is referring to is Himself. Jesus is the Light of the world, and those who prefer holding on to the darkness of sin are those who reject Him or oppose Him. They know that the Light exposes their sin to the world and so they steer clear of the light, just as cockroaches scatter when a light is turned on.
Those who choose to live by the truth of God’s Word, who choose to turn away from sin and embrace the Light are those whom Jesus speaks of in John 3:16. They are the ones who, by believing in Jesus, will receive the gift of God’s love, eternal life. God’s motive in sending Jesus, the Light, into the darkness of this fallen world was love. John 3:17 tells us that God sent Jesus into the world not to condemn it, but to save it. God loves each and every one of us and His desire is to see all of us receive the salvation that He gives through Jesus. God sent the Light. We need to turn from the darkness of sin and embrace the Light.