Shining in the Darkness

John 1:5-9

Verse 5 begins the next little section of John’s text, a section that continues through verse 13. The theme is that of the manifestation of the Word in this dark world, and in this it is interesting to note the transition from the Word, to God and then of Word-God into “light’. We can easily see through this device that the three terms, Word, God and light are being used interchangeably to describe attributes of God, thus they are One in their reference to Christ, who is as yet unnamed in the text.

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

John 1:5

Once again, John has put into one simple statement a fact that theologians have struggled with for centuries; the world around us just doesn’t “get it”. OK, those poor souls who live in the darkness of this world don’t understand the light; why does this surprise us? At the same time as we are surprised that this world struggles with the message of Christ, some of us are surprised that we should be called to reach out to the world around us to deliver the message of light to them and help them to see it for what it is; grace and truth. Why should we be surprised to be called to help others understand it? Why should we resist this calling?

There was a guy who did not resist the calling, and his name was John. This John is not the same guy who wrote the gospel, yet both of them were only too happy to share the light with a dark world. Verses 5-9 set up what follows by pointing out that this John (the Baptist) was sent to prepare the way for the Messiah who was about to burst upon the scene in the person of Jesus. John was not the light, just as you and I are not the light, yet he was sent to prepare the people to hear the message that would come in Christ.

In our time, the light has already come, and we have received it and received grace as a result. We are sent to share that light, and to help those around us to comprehend it that some should receive it also and share in its blessing. When you think about, this is an awesome calling!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to Shining in the Darkness

  1. paulfg says:

    “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

    Micro and macro! Thank you.

  2. trotter387 says:

    Again a thought provoking piece but doesn’t Jesus refer to his disciples and the Apostles as the ‘light of the world’?

    Was John the Baptist the light? No because he had not had the privilege of understanding what his cousin would achieve and died before Holy Spirit was poured upon the 120 in Jerusalem at Pentecost.

    Jesus made it clear that he was the light, that they also shed light and his followers would be the light, but the consistent feature throughout is God’s Word – the inspired pages of the Bible convey that light today.

    The truth and clarity of Gods message to humanity is that salvation is dependent on accepting Jesus role as the Messiah, conforming to God’s standards and shining as illuminators as the Apostle Paul describes it in the letter to the Phillipians.

    John chapter 1 is a theological minefield for many bible students – look forward to more interesting points to come

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