Summary: This is about Jesus being the Light and us living in the Light.
When I was a teenager, we played a game called “sardines.” Has anyone every heard of that one? The basic premise of the game is that one person goes and hides. Then one-by-one others go and try to find the person hiding. Oh, did I mention that you play this in the dark? The church where we played this had a basement with no windows. I’m not sure how they managed to get a basement without window to pass fire inspection. One person would descend the stairs into the blackness. There were several classrooms, storage rooms, closets, a furnace room, and two restrooms where someone could hide. As I went in for the first time, I was amazed at the utter darkness in that part of the church. I couldn’t see a thing. I held my hand in front of my face, and I couldn’t see it. Even after several minutes I still couldn’t see anything. You had to be careful. There was this one particular wall where there were hooks on the wall, and if you weren’t careful you could get injured. There were also several other people wondering around in the dark, so you had to be careful not to trip over or bump into someone else. There were also walls, chairs, and other obstacles, especially in the nursery.
After stumbling around for a few minutes, you would bump into someone. “Is that you Scott?” Groups of people would form. I guess for some reason, we thought that 4 or 6 eyes were better than 2. People would start laughing and giggling. Finally, someone, quite on accident, would bump into the person hiding. Someone else would come along and bump into the group. Everyone would start laughing, and the game was soon over. When the game was over, someone would flip on the light switch, and we would all have a great laugh about the bumping and tripping. It would be pointless to play the game in the light, but then it is a pointless game.
How much does that relate to life? There are people stumbling around in the darkness everyday. People try to find their way around with no success. They run into things. They get hurt. They can’t find their way. The answer is the Light.
There are three problems presented, with the solutions. They all relate to walking in the darkness. The first problem is that we lie to others. The second is that we lie to ourselves. The third is that we try to lie to God.
John writes in verse 5 “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” This sets up the rest of the passage. God has nothing shady or hidden. Like I mentioned, playing sardines in bright light would have been pointless, because it would have been impossible to hide. Light reduces the likelihood of hiding. That’s why with the war in Iraq, the military attacked mostly at night, because the darkness has the effect of being a shield. So we understand that we can hide nothing from God. Also, the light of God exposes things we may be hiding.
The first problem that John presents first is the act of deceiving others. Verse 6 says, “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” It is an out and out lie to claim that we walk with God, when our life says the opposite. If we claim to be in the light our life should reflect the light.