Summary: This is a New Years sermon.
The Light shines in the darkness (1:1-5)
Turn with me to John 1. Keep your Bibles open because we are going to walk through this passage step by step.
Read John 1:1-5.
The Word here is Jesus. The first verse parallels Genesis 1 by saying, “In the beginning.” The Word also calls to mind God speaking the world into existence. The Word existed with God prior to the Creation. The first three verses are a statement of the divinity of the Word or Jesus and the fact that he is Creator with God.
Verses 4 and 5 say, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” Some translations say, “overcome it.” Jesus is the source of all life. John is referring to more than just biological life. It is more than breathing, eating and sleeping. He is referring to eternal life. Jesus is the source of life that is both qualitative and quantitative. Jesus offers us eternal life with him. There is no better quality of life than to spend eternity with him. Eternity is forever.
Jesus is the true source of life. When the world was created we were designed to live forever, but sin happened. Our ancestors sinned and brought about the consequence of death. Death was not a part of the original plan. Sin caused two kinds of death to enter the world. Biological death entered. That means we get sick and die. The other is much more serious, and that is spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God.
Both of these deaths are serious, but we have hope because the light shines in the darkness. And that light is Jesus. God has sustained his creation through the light of his Son. We are told here that the “light shines in the darkness.”
Imagine with me that all the lights were out in this room. Imagine that I had a candle. If I lit the candle, what would happen? There would be light. Now what would happen if one of you had a candle and I lit your candle? There would be more light. Then if the light was passed on, it would grow brighter and brighter. That would be a great experiment, but it is already light in here. Since it is light let’s try the opposite. Cup hands together. In my hands here, I have darkness. I mean that it is really dark inside my hands. I am going to release of the darkness from my hands. Open hands. Now it is a little darker in here now, isn’t it? No. Why isn’t darker? I mean I let the darkness out of my hands.
The answer is rather simple. I guess there be some sort of long scientific explanation. But the reality is that light always dispels darkness. Darkness never dispels light. Think about it this way, we have invented lights to dispel the darkness in buildings and at night. No one has yet to invest “darks” to remove light.
The only way to keep light out of somewhere is to cover up the windows. When we were in Florida four years ago, a hurricane was threatening. We put the hurricane shudders over every door and window in the house. It was still a day before the hurricane was scheduled to arrive. It was a sunny, warm day, but there was no sunlight in the house. We had managed to block all of it out. That is how we are when we refuse to let Jesus shine his light into our lives. We can only do it by totally shutting him out of our lives.
That leads us to the second point here. We can either accept or reject him.
Rejection or Acceptance (1:9-13 [6-13])
Read John 1:6-13.
I want to focus specifically on verse 9 through 13. Verse 9 states that the true light was coming into the world. That true light is of course Jesus. Jesus shines his light into our lives to show where we need to be. He not shows us where we need to be; he also has the power to help live where we need to live.
In order for Jesus to come into the world, he had to enter history at some point in time at a specific geographical location. God had been revealing himself through the nation of Israel throughout the Old Testament. As a result at the right time and in the right place he interjected his Son. He sent him to the spot where his nation resided. The problem arose when the people refused to believe that he was the Son of God.
This is still an issue today. Despite 2000 years of history and the testimonies of millions of people who have had their lives changed, people still doubt. They still fail to recognize him. They still do not accept him as the Son of God.