There are some things in life that are mutually exclusive. According to probability theory, mutual exclusivity with 2 events or elements implies that they cannot occur at the same time. They are different and cannot co-exist with each other. If you flip a coin, you either get heads or tails. . . they are mutually exclusive events. The occurrence of heads automatically implies the non-occurrence of tails.
These verses from the gospel of John speak to us of mutually exclusive events. God looked at the world and saw that it was doomed and that He needed to do something to save it (mutually exclusive states). Consequently, he gave his Son in order to save this doomed world, moving it from sure destruction to everlasting life (mutually exclusive states). He didn’t give this incredible gift of his Son to judge and condemn our sin and chaos, but to love and restore (mutually exclusive states). It’s actually a pretty simple plan; we believe in Him and are acquitted or not believe and remain condemned (mutually exclusive states).
This whole plan involves God sending light into a dark world and we know that darkness and light cannot co-exist with one another. The light of God’s gift dispelled the darkness and in the process, revealed the state of chaos that this world was in. It was the darkness of evil, of denial and of delusion. When the light revealed these things, people ran for cover as it’s not easy to feel our sin exposed. We sometimes choose the darkness because it seems easier to stay in our legalism, our resentments, our busyness and our fear. However, we then choose to stay in the world of destruction and judgment. However when our belief focuses on God and His gift of light, we enter into the world of light, freedom, salvation and hope. We’re exposed, but in the light of God’s love and acceptance. We no longer run from the light, but bask in the warmth and glory of what God has done in our lives.
And so here comes our choices and the mutually-exclusive consequences; unbelief or belief, chaos or order, condemnation or acceptance, dark or light, death or life. The choice should be an easy one!
Questions for reflection:
In what ways do I believe? Not believe?
How do I feel condemned? Acquitted?
How does darkness feel? In what ways is it comforting? In what
ways is it suffocating?
In what ways do I choose to be in the light? How can I more fully move into the light of God’s salvation?
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