Blinding Light
By Anthony Casperson

In the game Mass Effect Andromeda, one of the planets you can travel to is Elaaden. It’s a harsh desert planet where the heat will slowly kill you…literally. If your character stays out in the light of the sun, you start taking damage.

Thus, the only way that you can travel very far is by driving around in your vehicle, the Nomad. When you need to deal with a problem, you get out of the Nomad, deal with it quickly (or in the shade) and then get back in your vehicle before the light of the planet fries you.

One thing that annoyed me was when this process had to occur near the edge of the map. I don’t know if it was just a glitch in my game, or if the developers were trying to show that gallivanting far from the hub city led to more dangerous parts for the light of the world.

Whenever I was near the edge of the map and got into my Nomad, the light of the world left me nearly blind. Meaning that the white balance on my screen went far toward the bright end of the spectrum. A few times, I literally had to look away from the screen, while my character drove blind away from the edge of the map.

The light of the sun revealed so much that I couldn’t see anything.

We see a similar type of event in John 8:12-29. This is the second “I Am” statement in John’s writing. This time, Jesus frontloads the statement. He says, “I am the Light of the World.” Those who follow Jesus are said to walk in the light, not walking in darkness.

For those who are his followers, Jesus is the Revealer of all things. He doesn’t hide things in the darkness. Everything that he is exists in the light. But the problem is that he was speaking to the Pharisees, people who have dwelt in the darkness of their own self-righteousness for so long that the light of the world reveals the truth in blinding light.

The light of the Son revealed so much that they couldn’t see anything.

The Pharisees say that Jesus isn’t playing by the rules because he’s alone in his testimony. Jesus says that he and the Father both testify to his role. Their own law says it’s acceptable for two witnesses and he’s got two.

Driving blind towards a deep sinkhole, the Pharisees ask him where his Father is? They don’t get the fact that he’s talking about God. If they’d have listened to Jesus, followed him, then the light wouldn’t have been so blinding to them. But since they lived in darkness, the truth enveloped them in brightness.

Jesus takes a different tactic, trying to repeat what he’s been saying to them all along. He is God enfleshed in humanity. And those who don’t follow him will die in their sin, separated from God for eternity.

Still suffering from the white out, the Pharisees don’t get it. And Jesus finally says that when he is lifted up (on the cross) then it will be known what he was sent to do.

The Light of the World was sent to reveal our darkness and give us a way to walk in the light. Jesus reveals all things, but often we’ve been in the darkness too long to see it. Even we who are his followers often revert back to our selfish ways.

The Light of the World slowly starts to kill our fallen human nature, but that nature has such self-preservation that it seeks its own safety, leaving us blind to the revelation of Jesus. We aren’t able to see all of the good that he has for us as we drive around in blinding light.

Oftentimes, it seems to us that God is being mysterious, not giving us the details that we need to survive. But the truth is that Jesus has revealed everything to us. It’s our own darkness that’s left us blind in the light.

We have to trust Jesus, knowing that he has revealed everything, even if we can’t see it.

“I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Let the Light give you life as it kills the darkness within.

Entering the Nomad on Elaaden at the edge of the map.