The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.
Coming to understand who Jesus Christ is the ultimate conclusion anyone can arrive at. It will determine where your eternity will be spent. And in John 1:1-14, the Apostle John answers that very question. A few weeks ago, we looked at the 1st attribute the Apostle ascribes to Jesus: He is divine (John 1:1-3).
Today, we consider the next attribute of Jesus Christ.
#2 – Jesus Christ has been revealed – “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (vs. 4-5).
In these two verses, John speaks about Christ being revealed both as “life” and “light.” He is a life-bringer and light-bearer.
First, how is He life? The word “life” occurs more in the Gospel of John that any other N.T. book. I believe John’s purpose for using this term to represent Christ was two-fold:
- “Life” refers to creation. He was referring to creation in the sense that Christ put life into His creation. Life cannot exist on its own can it? It must be created into existence. This is obvious: if He is the Creator, then in Him was life. As Acts 17:28 put it, “For in Him we live and move and have our being…”
- “Life” refers to salvation – We know this is true because of the life of Christ. He became the Light of the World.
Look again at verse 5: “The Light shines in the darkness…” He came into the world to save it. Luke 19:10 tells us, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This was the purpose for Christ coming into the world: to bring life … eternal life.
Apart from Christ, we are what? Dead! Ephesians 2 tells us we “are dead in our trespasses and sins.” We never have a spiritual heartbeat; we need new life. Being saved means Christ gives us a new life from God through Christ by faith. He is that “life.”
Now it also says that He “was the Light of men.” The Gospel of John teaches several things about this theme of light. Christ is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). He has “come into the world as a light” (John 12:46). Anyone who follows Christ will “never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). “Light” refers to the penetration of darkness.
Think about this: what is the purpose of light? It is to expose the darkness. This is the idea in verse 4. Christ came into this dark world full of sin to bring Light. He came to expose Satan and sin in a dark world of men.
“The Light shines in the darkness.” “Shines” means “to give light unto something.” Here we read it in the present tense; it is continually shining. It never ceases to shine; even as John was writing, the “Light” was shining.
Darkness cannot put out light; light puts out darkness. John says, “And the darkness could not comprehend it.” The word for “comprehend” means “to seize, overtake, eclipse, etc.” It is a word that can be dissected this way:
Kata (“down”) + Lambano (“to take”)
It is a Greek word used to describe a wrestling move where a man takes his opponent down. It is a symbol of overtaking something or someone.
You might not keep up with college wrestling much, but something incredible happened in college wrestling in 2001. A man by the name of Cael Sanderson completed his college career at Iowa State winning 4 straight NCAA titles. And if that is not impressive, he did this without losing a single match. He was 159-0 in his career as a wrestler! In each of his 159 matches, every one of those opponents probably thought, “I can beat this guy if…” I bet as the years went by and his undefeated record grew, more guys longed to pin Cael Sanderson. Everyone wanted to beat him. I mean could you imagine the last guy to wrestle him this weekend. He must have been thinking, “I will utterly shock the world if I could defeat Cael Sanderson.” Yet no one could overcome him.
That is the idea in John 1:5. Darkness cannot overcome the light. In the spiritual wrestling match, Light always beats darkness. Light wins every time.
We might think forward in our Gospel to think about Calvary. Even on the cross when it looked like darkness would overcome the Light, the Light was victorious. Christ didn’t stay in the tomb; He rose from the dead. The Light won! Even though it looked like Satan would be victorious back in the Garden when he introduced sin into the world, the Light – Christ – would not be done with him or darkness. In the end, the Light – Christ – wins!