Jn.5:35 – He was a burning and a shining light.
Christians have a whole different dialect than the rest of the world. I remember being mesmerized by this new language when I first became a Christian. I remember terms like “God spoke to me”, or talking about being “worldly” or “carnal”. One of those terms is being “on fire” for the Lord. What does that even mean? Actually we get a clue in the reference Jesus made to the great prophet John the Baptist. Jesus said John was burning and shining. What was He even talking about? Jesus was saying that John was burning with love for God and shining with prophetic revelation. John stood out in his world because he was on fire. This is how Jonathan Edwards describes this verse.
“That his heart be full of much of the holy ardor of a spirit of true piety. We read of “the power of godliness.” True grace is no dull, inactive, ineffectual principle; it is a powerful thing; there is an exceeding energy in it. And the reason is, that God is in it; it is a divine principle, a participation of the divine nature, and a communication of divine life, of the life of a risen Savior, who exerts himself in the hearts of the saints, “after the power of an endless life”. They that have true grace in them, “they live”; but not by their own life; “but Christ lives in them”. His Holy Spirit becomes in them a living principle and spring of divine life, the energy and power of which is in Scripture compared to fire……Tis by this therefore especially, that a minister of the gospel is a “burning light”; a minister that is so, has his soul enkindled with the heavenly flame; his heart burns with love to Christ, and fervent desires of the advancement of his kingdom and glory; and also with ardent love to the souls of men, and desires for their salvation.”
The fire in an on-fire Christian is God Himself. As Paul said, “our God is a consuming fire”. John had prophesied that Jesus would baptize us with the Holy Ghost and fire. Those are not two different things, just two different ways to say the same thing. If we get close to Jesus we too will be touched by the fire. We will begin to stand out in the world we live in. Lord, make us burning and shining lights.