John 1:1-5 - Bringing Light Into the Darkness
John 1: 1-5 Bringing Light Into the Darkness
I am a person who enjoys words. When I study a passage of scripture I like to look up the origin of words and see what they mean in the original language. I like to put words together to convey my thoughts and often write them down in poetic form, so the first chapter of John really intrigues me.
In the beginning was The Word and The Word was God, He was in the beginning with God.
John starts his gospel by referring to Christ as the Word of God. It is interesting that John alone refers to Christ as the Word of God. He refers to Christ in this way in the this first chapter of John, in I John 5:7 where he states "there are three who bear witness in heaven the Father, The Word and the Holy Spirit and these three are one". He also refers to Christ as the Word in Revelation 19:13 when he states "He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood and His name is called The Word of God"
Other writers call the scripture the word of God and there is a direct correlation between the scripture and Christ as we will see later, but John alone refers to Christ as The Word using a proper noun.
Did you ever wonder why John used the phrase "The Word" to describe Jesus Christ?
There are several possibilities:
1. Language is the means that man uses to communicate with each other. Almost without exception words are descriptive of something. DESCRIBE SOMETHING. Christ is the Word of God! What this means literally is that Christ alone describes God.
In Matthew 11:27, Luke10:22 Christ tells us that No one knows the Father except the Son and only those who the Son reveals God to will know God.
John tells us in verse 18 of the 1st chapter the no one has seen God at any time and the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father has declared Him.
How does Christ reveal God and His plan for humanity to us? He does it through His word - the scripture. The scripture then is the word of God given to us by The Word of God Christ so that we may understand God and know His will and desire for us.
This is very important for us to understand in this day and age for many declare that they know God. Many religions and many isms which have sprung from Christianity declare that those who they worship have revealed God to them. Almost all of do not deny that Christ gave us the word of God they claim that Christ was not the sole dispenser of God's word. This leaves us with a dilemma. If Christ is not the sole dispenser of God's word then He is a liar, for He claims that He alone can reveal the Father to us.
2. John may be taking us back to the beginning to creation. Genesis 1:1-2 tells us: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. The Hebrew word for without form in this passage is tohû and gives us a picture of confusion and chaos. So we see the earth is empty, it's full of confusion and darkness surrounds. A picture of total desperation. The earth was literally drowning in despair. BUT LOOK AT THE SECOND PART OF THE VERSE - the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. This is an awesome truth! God is omnipresent and should bring great peace to the believer for no matter where you are no matter what circumstance faces you God's Spirit is present hovering over the waters. Then something wonderful happened. GOD SPOKE. The Word of God, Jesus Christ pre-incarnate, created light in the darkness.
Is your world full of chaos? Are you drowning in despair? Are you surrounded by darkness? God's Spirit is present He knows what you are going through. Allow Christ to speak in your life through His word. He will shed the light of truth on the situation and bring peace and understanding into your life.
3. By declaring that Jesus Christ is the Word of God John also reveals to us a basic rule of Biblical interpretation which many evangelicals in the past century have forgotten. When God speaks the object and means of His interaction with this world is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the focus of all that we receive from God. Jesus Christ and His body (the church) is the reason for the creation of the world and this world will exist only until that kingdom is complete. All of history is His story. From the moment He spoke light into the chaotic cosmos in Genesis until the "Surely I come quickly" of Revelation 22:20 all of scripture points to Christ and has the sole purpose of guiding His subjects to Himself and equipping them for service in this world. When you study that precious book you hold in your hands don't seek for a vision into the future or you will may lead yourself into error. Seek Jesus and His righteousness in each and every page and you will be led into eternal life.
Notice verse 2 in All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. So the question often arises- if Christ created all things does that mean He created evil? Certainly not! Evil is not a thing it is the attribute or condition of someone or something. God also did not create good for good is also the attribute or condition of someone or something. We need go no further than Genesis 1:3-4 to see this truth. God said (the action of Christ in creation) let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good. Light was the thing Christ brought forth and good was the attribute of that light. Since good is an attribute of God all things that God created are good and remain good until they remove themselves or are removed from the influence of goodness. Even Satan and his angels were created good but became evil only when they rejected the good purpose for which they were created.
Christ was also the giver of eternal life. "In Him was life." One thing that we need to note is this. John does not use the present tense of the verb zoo, he uses the imperfect which refers to something ongoing in the past. This implies that the life spoken of in this passage is eternal life as opposed to the life which animates the creation. The daily ability of the creation to function is a present reality and we know from scripture that God's hand is at work, in the present, keeping this order going. At that time we also see in this passage "this life was the light of man" also in the imperfect tense.
The only light, or understanding of eternal life then comes from the indwelling of the light that was in Christ.
Prior to the fall, man lived in the light of eternal life and creation was good. In fact it was very good! After the fall the darkness of death came on the scene and though the light of eternal life was present John tells us the darkness could not comprehend it.
The word comprehend (katalambano) means the ability to conquer and make a part of yourself, both intellectually and physically.
1. On the intellectual level we can look at it in this way. When we conquer something intellectually it becomes a part of our being and we are able to act upon it and use it. How many of you know that 3 is less than 5? If you know and understand that 3 is less than 5 you have intellectually conquered that truth and made it a part of your intellect. Since it has been made a part of your intellect you can act on it. When you go into a store and see something you want that costs $5.00 and you have $3.00 on you, you know you cannot afford to purchase the item. If you have not made the truth of 3 being less than 5 you will not have the money on you to purchase the item and will suffer embarrassment at the checkout counter.
In the same way darkness cannot intellectually conquer the light. When a truth of the light is presented to darkness, darkness cannot intellectually or spiritually conquer it and make it a part of itself. This is very important for us as believers to understand.
The world is darkness and we because of the light of Christ that indwells us, are the light of the world. Scripture tells us in Ephesians 5:8 that at one time we were darkness. IT DOES NOT SAY WE DWELT IN DARKNESS NOR DOES IT SAY DARKNESS SURRONDED US. IT SAYS WE WERE DARKNESS. Darkness consumed us and there was no light present. When the light of Christ indwelt us and we became children of light and our understanding (according to Ephesians 1:17-18) became enlightened through the power of Jesus Christ so we could grasp or conquer the truths of God and make them a part of our being. The world does not have this capability for they are outside the household of faith and the Sprit of God through the Word of God is foolishness to them. So if we try to convince them of the truth of Christ our words will fall on deaf ears without the intervention of the Holy Spirit and application of God's Word. This is why our witness must be bathed in prayer and bolstered with scripture if we are going to reach the world for Christ.
2. Darkness also lacks the ability to overcome the light physically. This can be proven very easily in the physical realm. GIVE EXPERIMENT WITH FLASHLIGHT IN DARKNESS. Remember this the next time a storm hits and the lights go and you turn on a flashlight. Light overcomes darkness. Darkness cannot conquer light. Remember it the next time something goes bump in the night and you turn on the light to investigate the problem. Light will always prevail over darkness. No matter how dark the situation the light of Christ will overcome it and allow peace and love to reign in our heart. If we are called to suffer for Christ and lose everything this world has to offer the light of Christ will still overcome the darkness and as Paul and Silas, we will be able to praise the Lord and witness even to the keeper of the prison. And when that final darkness falls and death stands just a breath away we can rejoice that Christ will be there in that valley and when immediately after our eyes close in death's darkness they will open to the light of Christ's eternal light in glory.
This past week has been a very dark week for many in the world. The stock market has crashed, banks have failed and many folks have seen their retirement savings take a major hit. Man's greed has brought us to brink of economic chaos. Hearts of many are in despair as they see their life savings disappear or face the loss of jobs and homes. If you have not yet allowed the light of Christ to enter your heart now would be a opportune moment to do so. He will give you a peace and security that goes far beyond anything this world has to offer.
For those of us who are children of God scripture tells us that now is the time of salvation. We need to go into this darkened world with the light of the precious gospel of Jesus Christ shining brightly. We need to pray that the Lord will use us to invade the darkness and be ready to share with a lost and dying generation the hope and knowledge of eternal life.