IN THE DARK NO LONGER
Th: Christmas: It’s About Jesus
Pr: JESUS IS OUR SOURCE FOR LIFE.
TS: We will find in John 1:3-5 three undertakings of Jesus that reveal to us how He is the source for our life.
The _____ undertaking that reveals Jesus as our source for life is He…
I. BRINGS LIFE INTO BEING (3)
II. BRIGHTENS THE WAY TO LIFE (4-5)
III. BEATS DEATH (5)
RMBC 12/10/00 AM
Have you ever noticed that sometimes people attempt to make the clear unclear?
Take for example the following examples of new politically correct definitions:
ILL Notebook: Communication (Politically Correct)
You don’t have gym socks that smell.
You have ’odor retentive athletic footwear.’
You’re not shy.
You’re ’conversationally selective.’
You don’t talk a lot.
You’re ’abundantly verbal.’
You’re not being sent to the principal’s office.
You’re ’going on a mandatory field trip to the administrative building.’
It’s not called ’gossip’ anymore.
It’s ’the speedy transmission of near-factual information.’
While we may appreciate the creativity of these definitions, in the course of the day to day, we appreciate clear, concise and accurate information.
We are not looking to be confused or to be confusing.
We want to understand.
We want to be understood.
During this Advent season, we have begun a study on the gospel of John that will continue through the next year.
We will not finish it next year, but we will pick up on it from time to time and eventually finish it sometime in the future.
1. The gospel of John gives us clear information about the person of Jesus.
Last week, when we considered the first two verses of the gospel of John, we saw that John understood that Jesus was nothing less than God Himself.
John describes Jesus’ creativity, His eternity and His Deity.
To give us an even broader understanding of Jesus, he used the title “Word.”
Let me word the first verse a bit differently this morning because of that title:
2. “In the beginning was the Communication.”
When Jesus uses the name “Word” for Jesus, He is telling us that through Jesus, God seeks to communicate to us.
He is not content to leave us ignorant.
He is reaching out to us.
He wants us to know Him.
He desires that we know what He offers.
He longs for us to respond to His love.
3. John writes this biography about Jesus so that we will have life (John 20:31).
Note the final words that John gives toward the end of the gospel (we considered them last week as well).
He tells us, clearly, what his purpose is in writing:
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
John is telling us that God wants us to have life.
He wants us to know the purpose of life.
He communicates with us so that our life will have meaning.
He desires that we will have the significance that we were created to have.
But for this to happen, we need to understand that…
4. JESUS IS OUR SOURCE FOR LIFE.
Simply, Jesus is life!
All that is good about life finds its source in Jesus.
He wants us to enjoy life.
He wants us to know it in all its fullness and abundance.
When I go to the hospital to visit, a familiar phrase that I hear is, “All that matters is your health.”
And though there is a grain of truth in that, there is also a deception.
For our life here on earth is not the beginning and the end of the definition of life.
In the big picture of things, life goes way beyond the matters of our earthly life.
We will learn more about that as we give consideration of our text this morning.
5. We will find in John 1:3-5 three undertakings of Jesus that reveal to us how He is the source for our life.
(3) Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (4) In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (5) The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
I. The first undertaking that reveals Jesus as our source for life is He BRINGS LIFE INTO BEING (3).
1. Jesus is the agent and sustainer of creation (Hebrews 1:1-3a).
In our understanding of the Godhead, it is the Father that created.
But that is not the end of the description, for He did it through the Word.
Note how the letter to the Hebrews begins:
In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word…
The Creation was created through the Word, the Son.
But that is not all, for the universe is held together by Jesus’ word.
He is the force that holds all things together.
By His communicative ability, He holds together the smallest atom, as well as the greatest galaxy.
Our text tells us that the Word was involved in every detail of the finished project.
The universe is a combination of wisdom, design, and art.
It is because the Word spoke it into being.
The Creation is wonderful blend of beauty and harmony.
It is because the Word spoke it into being.
The world that we live in is a demonstration of knowledge, reason, and logic.
It is because the Word spoke it into being.
2. Jesus was not left out of any aspect of the creation process (Psalm 33:6).
Please note this…Jesus didn’t do it for God.
He did it as God.
Note the testimony of Scripture:
By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
The text tells us that nothing was outside His range of activity.
He was not a passive bystander, but involved actively in every aspect of the Creation.
ILL Notebook: Creation (doing a better job)
Grandpa and his granddaughter were sitting talking when she asked, "Did God made you, Grandpa?" "Yes, God made me," the grandfather answered. A few minutes later, the little girl asked him, "Did God make me too?" "Yes, He did," the older man answered. For a few minutes, the little girl seemed to be studying her grandpa, as well as her own reflection in the mirror, while her grandfather wondered what was running through her mind. At last she spoke up. "You know, Grandpa," she said, "God’s doing a lot better job lately."
The Word is the Creator of life, and no matter how you look, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You find your origin and source in the being of God.
And because you are God’s creation, you have value.
As Max Lucado says:
ILL Notebook: Creation (Lucado)
Our value is inherent--it’s not based on the Ph.D. after our name or the amount of money in our bank account. We have value simply because we are. In the eyes of God, every human has value simply because he is the creation of the Almighty God.
And the news gets even better…
3. As the Creator, Jesus knows just what His creation needs.
The Word is not only involved in every detail about you, He knows what else needs to be done.
Jesus knows what tinkering should be done in our lives to keep us in perfect running order.
He knows your needs.
You can depend on Him.
For just as He has given you life, He will continue to sustain you.
II. The second undertaking that reveals Jesus as our source for life is He BRIGHTENS THE WAY TO LIFE (4-5).
1. Jesus is the “life-bringer.”
The text says, “In Him was life…"
It is only because there is life in the Word that there is life in anything on earth at all.
Life does not exist in its own right.
It has a source.
Jesus is the life-bringer.
Life is the fullness of God’s essence.
Its opposite is destruction, condemnation, and death.
The person who lives a Christless life exists, but he/she does not know what life is.
Jesus is the one that makes our life worth living.
But it is certainly more than that.
For in Jesus, even the earthly death is a prelude to fuller life.
This is why Christians leave this world differently.
They don’t leave in fear.
They leave with confidence.
They leave with confidence because Jesus has shown the way.
2. Jesus shows us the way as the “light-bearer” (John 8:12).
ILL Notebook: Light (attracting them)
In the back woods of the hollows, a man’s wife went into labor in the middle of the night, and the doctor was fetched to assist in the delivery. Hours later, he arrived, but still in time!
Since there was no electricity, the doctor handed the father-to-be a lantern and said, "Here, you hold this high so I can see what I am doing." Soon, a baby boy was brought into the world. "Whoa there," said the doctor. "Don’t be in a rush to put the lantern down, I think there’s yet another one to come." Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered a baby girl. "Wait now, don’t be in a great hurry to put down that lantern. It seems there’s yet another one to come."
Sure enough, within minutes he had delivered another baby girl. "No, no, don’t be in a great hurry to put down that lantern. It seems there’s yet another one in there!" cried the doctor.
The father scratched his head in bewilderment, looked at the lantern, looked at his wife, and asked, "Do you think it’s the light that’s attractin’ ’em?"
When our spiritual eyes open, we become attracted to the light.
We hear the message that Jesus testifies to about Himself.
Jesus will later testify…
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Have you noticed that the first command of creation is “Let there be light.”
It is the nature of God to give light where there is darkness.
So, Jesus as the Word gives life-giving light to a dark world.
He comes seeking a world lost in darkness.
He is light journeying endlessly, pursuing the dark recesses of our heart.
He relentlessly seeks a place to illuminate so to bring warmth and light.
Note how powerful light is…
ILL Notebook: Light (W.W.II)
In World War II, during the blackouts in London, on a clear night a lighted match could be seen for twenty miles from the air.
The Word willingly penetrates any crevice or opening, knowing that even the smallest light will reveal an object’s true nature.
For where the light goes, darkness is dispelled, revealing the true nature of life.
It shows things as they are.
It strips away all disguises and concealments.
It shows things in all their nakedness
It reveals true character and true values.
3. Jesus shines in our heart to reveal the darkness that is in it (John 12:46).
I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.
Jesus, as the Light, exposes darkness for what it is.
He reveals the righteousness of God as opposed to man’s sin.
The light exposes man’s sin.
And the text tells us, literally, that it shines continually in the darkness.
It shines on.
Christ is continually bombarding every corner of our dark hearts through the work of His Holy Spirit in nature, conscience, and the Scriptures.
But the intention is only righteous.
It is a guiding light, so that our guessing and groping is ended.
Our doubt and uncertainly can be completely removed.
We can know the way to go because He brightens the way to life.
III. The third undertaking that reveals Jesus as our source for life is He BEATS DEATH (5).
1. Jesus’ presence demonstrates that the darkness doesn’t understand.
The meaning of the word that is translated as “understand” has two meanings.
The first is to “lay hold with the mind” which carries the meaning of to apprehend or comprehend.
This is why it is translated “understand.”
It also reinforces the idea that will come in verses 10 and 11:
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
But it may be that John was doing a double meaning, using one word, but meaning two different things.
It is a literary technique of John that he does over and over.
The other meaning, and perhaps a better translation, is “overcome.”
2. Jesus overcomes darkness by being the light.
There is tremendous resistance to the light, but darkness is unable to overpower it.
The darkness is unable to extinguish it.
The darkness pounced…and bounced off.
Light puts chaos to flight.
Darkness attempted to win at the garden, and it won for a time, but it was not a permanent win.
God showed grace and then foretold of a way out.
And while mankind waited for the solution, God honored faith.
Darkness attempted to win at the cross.
It thought it had nailed the Son of God and beat Him.
But the Creator of life is more powerful than the Destroyer of life.
Darkness suffered an utter defeat at the tomb.
Darkness is unable to overcome the power of light.
Christmas is the season of lights.
There are lights on houses and trees.
They are in windows of homes and shops.
Everywhere we see blinking and twinkling.
Even on Christmas Eve, we will sing “Silent Night” by candlelight.
When it comes to this time of the year, we can’t seem to get enough light.
Just as the lights are beautiful, even more so is the Son.
He is the heavenly light.
He is the true light, as He is God of God and Light of Light.
1. Jesus is our light (Luke 2:30-32).
This was Simeon’s testimony when he was introduced to the baby Jesus:
For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.
The birth that we celebrate at this time of the year is meant to give us hope.
We need the light that the Word communicates and brings.
For let’s face it, it is a dark world.
There is darkness all around us.
There are families riddled by drugs.
Individuals killed by a drunk and careless drivers.
Parents going through divorce leaving kids in the middle.
People are burdened with cancer and or even worse diseases.
There are old folks living alone with no one giving them attention.
There are others with uncertain health and live with the fear of death.
Others bear the burdens of broken relationships and desperately need forgiveness.
And the list could go on and on…because darkness has caused great confusion in this world.
But the darkest enemy of all has no chance when our life is in the hands of the One that is the Light.
2. Jesus comes to defeat death (Matthew 1:21).
Here the announcement of the angel to Joseph:
She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus (Y’shua), because he will save his people from their sins.
Jesus was coming to save His people.
He was coming to save us from the result of our sins.
This baby comes to overcome death because He lives to die.
And as a result…
3. Jesus is our life (John 3:16).
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
ILL Notebook: Death (Owen)
When John Owen, the great Puri-tan, lay on his deathbed his secretary wrote (in his name) to a friend, "I am still in the land of the living."
"Stop," said Owen. "Change that and say, I am yet in the land of the dying, but I hope soon to be in the land of the living."
How well put that is, for eternal life is more than duration.
It is quality of life, life as it is designed to be.
We find it in Jesus.
When Jesus offered us eternal life, he invites us to enter into the very life of God.
Don’t miss this during this Christmas season!
Jesus is our life.
You will only find the true meaning of life when you find Jesus.
BENEDICTION: [Counselors are ]
Find life…find life in the Creator of life, and the One who has created you has designed you; and because He loves you, He knows what is best for you.
Find life…find life in the One who is pointing you toward the real meaning of life; for it is Jesus who is lighting the way, lovingly desiring to make your paths straight.
Find life…find life in the One who has absolutely destroyed the power of death; who has fought the battle we will never win, and receive the gift of salvation He compassionately offers you—for He can be born in you today.
Now to him who is able to establish you by the gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.