Summary: Jesus as the source of life and light.


John 1:4-5

“In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

We have here four propositions:

1. The Word of God is the source of all life.

2. His life illuminates all men.

3. The light appears in the darkness.

4. The darkness cannot overwhelm the light.

The first words spoken in God’s act of creation were, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). The source of this light is the eternal Word of God. It was still three days before the creation of the sun!

The whole of creation testifies to the existence of our Creator (Psalm 19:1-3; Acts 14:17). This leaves man with no excuse (Romans 1:20). Our life is wrapped up in the life of God (Acts 17:27-28).

The life of God in our midst has been manifested in the form of light (John 9:5).

The true Light lightens everyone that comes into the world (John 1:9). This is, significantly, even before the incarnation (John 1:11).

The light of God has been seen in wisdom. After all, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, as testified in the canonical books of Solomon. Wisdom takes on the same personality as the Word of God, as particularly demonstrated when we compare Proverbs 8 with John 1:1-3.

It was for this that the Queen of Sheba undertook her epic journey to visit Solomon. She was not disappointed, but declared: “The half was not told me!” (1 Kings 10:7).

We have the same sense of wonder when we first encounter Jesus for ourselves - like the Samaritans who said to the woman at the well, “Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard Him for ourselves” (John 4:42).

There is also a measure of wisdom in the pursuit of wisdom by the Greek philosophers, and by world religions: but this does not hold a candle to the wisdom of God as revealed in the Bible.

Though surrounded by the wisdom of God, “the world by wisdom knew not God.” In the end it is the “foolishness of preaching” which God, in His wisdom, uses to save those who believe. By the preaching of the Cross we come to embrace “Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:21-24).

The Word of God informed the Old Testament prophets of what the LORD had to say to the situations of their day. Prophecy is not just foretelling the future, as some believe, but rather the forth-telling of God’s mind (Isaiah 38:4; Jeremiah 1:4; Ezekiel 1:3).

Supremely, the revelation of the Word as light is seen in the incarnation (John 1:14; Hebrews 1:1-3).

The light shone in the primeval darkness, and the darkness was vanquished. Light shows up all the hidden places, so that there is no escaping from it. Our consciences also bear witness to the light, no matter how hard we try to suppress it.

The incarnation brought light to bear upon a fallen world, but the world could not bear it (John 1:10-11). They crucified the Lord of glory!

Thankfully, however, there were those who received Him, as there are those who believe in His name to this very day (John 1:12). The light of the Gospel cannot be extinguished.

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