Summary: The Light of the World Jesus is the Light that Triumphs
The Light of the World
Jesus is the Light that Triumphs
December 1, 2013
Christmas is four weeks away and though it is not a Christian holiday per say, it is a cultural celebration that has some connection with the Christianity so it is good for us to draw our attention to the significance of the incarnation, the word becoming flesh and dwelling among us. With that in mind, we are beginning a four week series, “The Light of the World” looking at the first eighteen verses of the first chapter of the gospel of John. This chapter is a rich section on the person and nature of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. John starts out differently than the other gospels. Mark starts out of the gate with Jesus on the scene, preaching, 'repent for the kingdom is at hand.' Matthew and Luke take us farther back to the birth of Jesus. But John goes even farther back into eternity. He shows us that Jesus Christ is fully divine and fully human, having the power to save us and having the ability to atone for our sin.
Big Idea – Jesus is the eternal word who is the source of eternal life and the light that triumphs over all evil.
The Word is the Light that is God (vs. 1-2)
'In the beginning' immediately draws our attention to the opening verses of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament (OT), where we read 'in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.' John is informing us that the coming of Jesus is a new Genesis, a new creation and that God's purposes are fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Israel's serial failure and apostasy will not thwart God's purposes to make a people for himself, who are a light to the world. Before it all began, Jesus Christ, the Word, was. Jesus Christ did not come into existence at the incarnation but Jesus always was, always existed. Why is Jesus described as the Word? Some have proposed it has to do with Greek thought but I think John goes farther back than that to the Old Testament. It is in the OT that we see that God communicates most clearly and most often through his word. God revealed himself and his purposes to his people by his word. Jesus is the clearest and final self disclosure of God to humanity. God also spoke creation into existence by his word. God's word also brings about his redemptive power, going forth to heal and deliver his people. This word is the light that triumphs over the darkness. The word was also with God, referring to closeness and relationship. The word was with God and so distinct from God, but the word also 'was God.' So the word and God, are two persons, the eternal Father and the eternal Son who enjoyed each other from all eternity. So the word is the eternal Son of God who was with God and was God. This word is the light that triumphs over the darkness. This word is also the Creator.
The Word is the Light that is the Creator (vs. 3)
'All things were made through him and nothing was made without him.' Paul says something similar, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” We read in the OT that God created the heavens and the earth but now we read that the word created all things. The New Testament fills in the gaps for us, learning that Jesus was involved in creation. All things are made through and for him. What does Paul mean by for him? Jesus, the word, is the goal of creation, that he be exalted and glorified or be made much of.
The Word is the Light that Triumphs over the Darkness (vs. 4-5)
“In him was life and the life was the light of men.” The word who is Jesus, is both the possessor of and the giver of life. But John probably more directly means spiritual life or eternal life. Jesus, the word, is the only source of eternal life. This life was the light of men and women. Light presupposes that humanity needs the light for life and sight. This is the backdrop to the incarnation, to Jesus, and to the gospel. The moral fabric of the human heart is torn by sin. This creates two problems for all of us. First, we are born spiritually dead and therefore are spiritually blind. Jesus is the light and men and women are naturally blind to him, to his truth and his beauty and his glory. Jesus remedies both by giving life and light to see. Jesus does for us what we cannot do. The word, the gospel, brings forth life and light so that we are born from above and see. The light shines into the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. The darkness has not, will not, and cannot overcome the light. Light, by nature, invades, opposes, and dispels darkness. Darkness is all that stands opposed to God - evil, sin and unbelief. The light triumphs over the darkness for three reasons we have already seen. First, the light is the life of the word, the Eternal Son of God. Second, the light is the life of all created things. Third, the light is the life who is God. This gives us great hope and confidence if we have come to faith in Christ. As children of light, we are no longer in darkness we have already overcome the darkness. He no longer has a grip on us, he cannot ultimately defeat us, and no one can snatch us out of his hands.
Take aways . . .
• Jesus, the Word, is the perfect revelation of God the Father
• Jesus is triumphant
• Are you trusting in the Triumphant One?