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Eccles_2

The Eccles Building, the main office of the Federal Reserve in Washington, D.C.

And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

  • John 3:19-20

The words from John at the top of this post are readily recognized by Christians as coming from Jesus’ dialogue with Nicodemus, the Pharisee who came to inquire of him one night.  The immediate application of Jesus’ words is, of course, to himself as the light who came into the world and was rejected of men, for they loved evil and feared lest their deeds should be exposed.

But while Christ said these words in the context of explaining his person and purpose for coming in the flesh to Nicodemus, his comments have a wider application.  They are a specific case of a broader principle we see in Scripture, that of the Christian principle of openness and honesty.  Those who love the truth do what they do in the open.  They let their light shine before men that others may see their goods works and glorify their Father in heaven.  On the other hand, those who practice evil, those who have something to hide, they do their work in the dark, fearing to be seen by men.

One application of the principle of openness and light is the Christian idea of government as a servant of the people, not as their master.  When the disciples argued about who was the greatest, Jesus explained the Christian concept of leadership, which was radically different from the model the world offered.  Christ explained that the rulers of the Gentiles “exercised lordship” (lorded it over) them, but such was not to be the case among his followers.  Following Jesus example, those who would be first in the Kingdom of Heaven were to be servants of all.

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