Summary: (PowerPoint Slides and Cell Study Notes freely available by emailing Emile@Wolfaardt.com) Understanding Jesus Revealed, Rejected, Reviled and Received.
Journeying With John - It’s a Trip (JWJ-05)
When the Light Shines
This morning John is going to take us to a very deep place that has very profound implications. As a matter of fact, the way you respond in the next few minutes is an indication to me of what your experience of eternity is going to be like.
Our series is entitled, ‘Journeying With John, It’s a Trip’. Our title this morning is, “When the Light Shines.”
Please open your Bibles with me to the Gospel written by John, the Apostle of Love, John, the Apostle of Life, John, the Apostle of Light - and the first chapter of that fascinating gospel. We have looked at the first 8 verses so far in our study. This morning I invite you to consider with me verses 9-13.
John 1:9-13 - Read and Pray
1. The True Light Revealed - John 1:9
Right up front I want to remind us that there is no darkness like the darkness that occurs where God is not present. As a matter of fact, the greatest darkness imaginable to mankind is the darkness of the soul that results from the absence of God. This darkness is the condition of man apart from Jesus Christ.
2 Cor. 4:4 tells us that “. . . the god of this world, has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Last week we looked at the incredible darkness that emerges in the absence of light - a darkness that is thick, blinding, disorienting, confusing. As a matter of fact, Exodus 10:21 describes a darkness that is so dark it can be felt. Sheol, the place of the dead, is referred to in these terms in the Bible, “a place of darkness.” [Job 17:13] The kingdom of satan is described again and again as a ‘kingdom of darkness.’ [Mat. 8:12] And the tragic reality is that outside of Christ man lives this darkness. [John 3:19] “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.”
Precious believer - in this darkness you and I once dwelt. In this darkness we, too, were condemned, in this darkness we too were blinded and confined.
But into this darkness the light of Christ shines, the true light that enlightens every man - not every man without exception, but every man without distinction. That would be a good place for somebody to yell out an ‘Amen!’
So why, then, does the passage describe Jesus as the ‘true light?’ I would suggest for at least two reasons.
Firstly, history tells us that when Jesus stepped into public ministry it was into a season of messianic fever. All of Israel knew the prophetic words that a Messiah was about to come. As a matter of fact, there were a number of messiahs who had arisen during this period and claimed to be the prophesied messiah. Well this was the true light.
Secondly, other lights may flicker with the right truth but they simply give a faint glimpses of reality. The prophets did this. John the Baptist did this. But he declared that he was not the light. Jesus Christ, the genuine Light was coming into the world.
1. The True Light Revealed
2. The True Light Rejected - John 1:10
Listen to me if you would precious believer - this is tragedy. He was in the world - this was not God shouting from a distance, this was the God who made the world coming into the world - but the very world He made rejected the One who made it.
The salvation God brought was the very salvation man needed, expressed in the only way man could receive at the only price man could afford. You could not think of a better, more clear communicated or more reasonably priced salvation plan. It costs you nothing and gives you everything.
Tony Abram noted insightfully, “One of the great mysteries of the world is that the whole world is not Christian.” It absolutely makes no sense. Here is the reason why: Satan has blinded the eyes of the world, dulled their senses, corrupted their hearts and deceived their appetites. Darkness is now all they have and all they know.
The tragic theme song of this world was blazed across the night skies by Simon and Garfunkel - “Hello Darkness My Old Friend.” That’s all they have and all they know. And the darkness is so dark inside of them that they cannot see the light outside of them.
This world hated and rejected Jesus, and the only place they could make for Him was on a cross. And the world would be excused their lostness had they had no witness - but the light has shone in the darkness and they rejected Him.