“Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth…He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.” (Jno.5:33,35)
What a stinging rebuke from the lips of our Lord! He portrays these Jews as being shallow and fickle. “You wanted to hear what John the Baptist had to say,” He says in essence, “And when he told you the truth, you were overjoyed to hear it…at first.”
John was a shining light— a luminary, if you will, because he spoke the truth. Only truth gives light; everything else is just information. We hear people say, “That really shed light on ___,” when actually all that was received was a true fact in that particular case. But when someone passes on to us eternal truth from the Source of Truth, that individual has truly illuminated us. John, Jesus insisted, was just such a truth-conveyer.
What John said was enough to give these people something in which to rejoice for the rest of their lives. Yet they failed to continue in the light that had been communicated to them. Why? Either because they never really considered it to be the truth, in the first place; or else they weren’t seeking truth at all, just something new and different.
Here’s something we can be sure is true: True seekers and true possessors do not rejoice in the truth just “for a season.” They hang onto it for always!