EPH 5:13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, 14 for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” ESV
These words about Christ and light reminded me of John 8:12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” I assumed Paul was echoing John but a chronological timeline of the Bible showed Paul was martyred before John was even written. What first seemed like an echo became instead Paul’s faithful voice of personal experience pleading for all to wake up and see the light!
Paul wrote these words about the same Lord who’d confronted him with blinding light on that long ago road to Damascus: “Christ will shine on you.” He knew their reality can make light visible even to conflicted hearts. There’s no amount of human intellect that can explain the process that changes ambivalence toward God into living faith. There’s no amount of good preaching that can convince a heart to respond to Christ. There’s no amount of scientific proof that can prove salvation has occurred, or explain how an in-dwelling Holy Spirit can be an actual reality. That, by definition, is the mystery of Faith. Faith is not an echo of anyone else’s intellect or truth. “It becomes visible” only when individual hearts are exposed by the Light himself and the “light of life” becomes personal experience.
The notable JB Phillips New Testamenta says “For light is capable of “showing up” everything for what it really is. It is even possible (after all, it happened to you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also. Thus God speaks through the scriptures: Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
aJB Phillips: English clergyman who studied classical Greek at Cambridge University and personally translated the New Testament into modern language.