Caterpillars vs. Butterflies and Dead Men vs. New Creations; what do they have to do with each other?
18 The path [learning] of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
Each is a metaphor/illustration/example of how we are spiritually before and after we believe Jesus. Let’s look at Dead Men vs. New Creations first.
Jesus said that we were born physically and that we need to be born spiritually (John 3:3-7). I think that He was not speaking of a process as much as He was giving an illustration of the drastic change in us once we believe Jesus. To believe Jesus is to take Him at His word: “I am the Source of living water (John 4:14, 7:37-38).” I am the light of the world (John 8:12).” “I am the door to God (John 10:9).” “I am the good Shepherd (John 10:11).” “I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).” We believe Him and trust in Him. What really happens to us is this,
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24
Notice that our faith in Him comes by hearing Him speak to us. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him (by the Spirit)” (John 6:44). Our belief is actually an act of trust in which we turn to Him in our minds and give Him our lives (I could have said, “hearts,” here, but it would have been another metaphor). His Spirit does the rest:
- He cleans us up (helps us accept His forgiveness),
- dresses us up (helps us put on the garment of praise and His righteousness),
- hooks us up (to the Fellowship of the Trinity), and
- catches us up (on being holy and righteous, like Him).
Paul calls us “new creations” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It’s as if we were born again (John 3:7), or brought from death to life (Ephesians 2:1-6). The best illustration is the caterpillar vs. the butterfly–which we will look at tomorrow. The lesson for the day is this: It’s all about the relationship. Whether we were unborn spiritually, dead spiritually, or simply hiding in darkness (John 3:19-21), everything changed when we trusted Jesus and began a personal relationship with Him.
Abba, thank You for calling me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light (1Peter 2:9). Thank You for Your gift of mercy and calling me one of Your people (v.10), even Your family (Romans 8:15-17). Thank You for setting me free from the chains of my sin and setting me free to follow You (Galatians 5:1, 25; I like this metaphor). May I lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and run with endurance the race that is set before me (Hebrews 12:2). I will fix my eyes on You, Jesus, for I know that You are the Author of my faith and the Finisher of my faith. To You be all the glory. Amen.