Summary: If by birth and by nature we have a lack of light, we don’t understand, don’t recognize, don’t receive the Light, how awesome it is that by simply believing the gospel we receive the light of Jesus Christ.
The four gospels record the earthly life of Jesus Christ, and each one presents a different view of Him.
Matthew: King of the Jews, Son of David, Heir of Israel’s throne
Mark: Servant of God, the perfect Workman of God – the text in Mark brings out the characteristics of His service and the manner in which He served.
Luke: emphasizes the humanity of our Savior, presents Him as the perfect Man and contrasts Him with sinful man
John: views Jesus as God, the eternal Son of the Father, the pre-existent God who took on flesh and lived among man. The entire Gospel of John holds this view of God the Son and keeps it as the dominant theme.
Revelation 4:7 gives us a visual picture to help us remember, as it describes Christ:
7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Revelation 4:7
The first creature, the lion, represents Christ as King, and corresponds to the teaching in the book of Matthew. The second creature, the ox, represents Christ as Servant, and corresponds to the book of Mark. The third creature had the face of a man, represents the humanity of Jesus Christ, and corresponds to the book of Luke.
This “flying Eagle” corresponds to the book of John. The book of John takes us up, as an eagle, into the presence of God, into the Deity of Christ.
The Lack, the Lamp, and the Light
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. John 1:5-9 (NIV)
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” The darkness did not comprehend or understand the light. What does this mean? We can see the meaning of this statement by looking at verses 10 and 11:
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. John 1:10-11 (NIV)
This is what verse 5 means, that the darkness did not understand the Light. That is, people did not recognize Jesus as the Light, they did not receive Him. Darkness is a lack of light, a lack of sight. Darkness is a lack of understanding, a lack of comprehension.
This statement tells us of the effects of the Fall, when Adam and Eve were in the garden they rejected the Light of God’s Word and turned to the darkness of sin instead, and now their children can’t even recognize the light, can’t understand it. We disregard the light, reject the Light, resist the Light, and as a consequence are plunged into darkness.
Now let’s take this one step farther, and ask ourselves what is the reason why people don’t understand the Light. Look at John 3:19:
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. John 3:19 (NIV)
This issue of light versus darkness, of Christ versus sin is a matter of a person’s heart. By nature our deeds are evil and our hearts are wicked. By nature we love darkness, therefore we don’t understand the Light, we don’t comprehend the Light, we rebel against it. By nature we find pleasure in darkness.
So let me just apply this truth about darkness just now, turn in your Bibles to Galatians chapter 5. I want to list for you 3 ways that this darkness shows itself. In Galatians 5, Paul lists this darkness under three categories: sexual sins, spiritual sins, and social sins.
Sexual Sins. sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (verse 19). This darkness is all over, both in the world and in the church. Pornography is rampant in the church today. Some churches ordain homosexual pastors. This is just human darkness.
Spiritual Sins. "Idolatry, witchcraft" (verse 20). Idolatry means anything or anyone who comes between God and ourselves, thereby becoming the center of our worship and attention. God has forever condemned idolatry, and the apostle John warns, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:21).
Witchcraft or sorcery is the actual Greek word “Pharmakeia” where we get our words Pharmacy, or Pharmaceutical. It refers to the "use of drugs"—as we see all around us today. Drug taking has even invaded the church of Jesus Christ. The brainwashing of the psychotherapy movement has encouraged this form of sorcery.