“In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
In John 1:1-3, John points his readers back to creation. You can read about that HERE.
In verses 4 & 5, John continued the thought about who the Word (the Son, Jesus) really was. If we thought His person and work began as a child in the manger, or even as one who was conceived of the virgin Mary, we’d be wrong. He is the One who created.
John moves us from the idea of creating all things (rainbows, trees, puppies and people) to even more basic elements of life and light. In mentioning life and light, John reminds us of two things that were necessary for creation. Remember Genesis 1:2? In this verse it says, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the earth.” The Son was not just one who formed creation. Life and light were needed to form and fill the creation. Without them, the universe would be a dead, dark ball of rock hurtling through space. And life and light were IN HIM.
We think of life purely as a biological function. If we think that light is created by the Sun, we couldn’t be more wrong. In the order of creation light existed before the Sun (day 1 and 4 respectively). And in the New Heaven and New Earth there will be no sun. Why? “For the Lord God will be their light… (Revelation 22:5).” Life and light are not accidents of nature, nor the result of an impersonal bang. Life and light have always been and will always be in Him!
John wrote that this life is our light. The life which emanates from God directs us back to Him and delivers us from darkness.
John wrote, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” The light that flows from the life of God broke into the dark space of the universe. It began the movement that was creation. Everywhere it went it made darkness run.
Darkness has never conquered light. Light always dispels darkness. It pushes the darkness into the shadows where it may wait, but it can never advance against the light. Later in the gospel, we will see what happens when the life and light of God breaks into creation again. It will rock the world and set it on a course toward the new, redeemed and restored creation.
What does all this mean?
- John informs us the Word (The Son, The Christ) is the source of elements that are necessary for us. The material world doesn’t provide what we depend on, or long for.
- John prepares us for appreciating the in-breaking of life and light in the coming of The Word.
- John also helps us anticipate the victory of the light and life of God. The darkness that seems to be marching victoriously through our world is no match for the life and light of the Word. It couldn’t stand in creation and it can’t stand now.
Prayer: O God, my God! You are life. You are light. Let me know by experience that all I need and all I long for is in You. Your Word, the Christ, is the One who began all things and the One who continues His work of bringing us toward a victorious future. Forgive me for the times when I’ve believed Your Son (by action and word) as less than He is. Forgive me for the times when I give up on your light. Forgive me for the times when I let go of your life. Renew and restore me by pushing darkness out of my life and filling me with the light and life of Your Spirit.
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