Romans 2:17-20 (Revised Standard Version – RSV)
17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely upon the law and boast of your relation to God
18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed in the law,
19 and if you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth
On many occasions, on my journeys to and from work on the train, there are dogs brought on to the train. Most of these are pets with their owners but occasionally, there are guide dogs leading their owners. They do an incredible job and are the most wonderful dogs and the service they provide is invaluable.
I’m aware that Paul is asking the Jews a question here: ‘If you are sure that you are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness’ and I know that the reason for the question is coming up in the next few verses, but the question isn’t really casting any doubt as to the claim of the question. We know that God’s Law is a ‘lamp unto my feet and light unto my path’. As the privileged people who followed that law, it is not unreasonable therefore to say that they themselves were guides and lights. During the sermon on the mount, Jesus said “You are the light of the world.” Over many years of connections with several churches, I have heard people talk about how important they are because they are salt and light. As explained yesterday, it’s easy to take this verse and to focus on our own ‘entitlement’ or our ‘privileged’ position. However, just like the guide dog illustration earlier, the whole purpose of the guide dog is to guide the person to where they need to go. As guides and lights, our purpose isn’t to discuss our own position, but it is all about leading the blind to the place they need to go. What place is that? Well, I believe it’s more about a person than a place. We are being asked to lead people who cannot see their sin, to the foot of the cross where Jesus paid the penalty for their sin. For people who are in darkness, we are to show them ‘The light of the world’ – Jesus. Everything is about Him.
May we never forget that all we say and do should always point people to Jesus. Every action should demonstrate Him in some way. Every conversation should lead people to the Saviour. Take some time in prayer today to thank God that He chose to use you in this way.