Light of the World

According to the Apostle John, “life” is found in the “Word,” and that life is the “light of men.” It is “shining in the darkness,” and the darkness “cannot seize” or suppress it. This same “Word” or Logos has become “flesh” and the Living Word of God in the man, Jesus of Nazareth. In him, the glory and life of God are manifested for all men to see.

His disciples are summoned to “testify” of the light in this fallen world. There are many competitors clamoring for our attention, each claiming to be true light, sources of illumination, shining cities on hills.

Light in Darkness - Photo by Mike Lorusso on Unsplash
[Photo by Mike Lorusso on Unsplash]

With the manifestation of God’s “
light,” already, “the darkness is passing away, and the true light is shining.” This must be so since “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” – (1 John 1:5, 2:8).

In this present age, political ideologies, philosophies, religions, economic theories, and messianic figures all claim to be the way, humanity’s best hope for peace and prosperity and bulwarks against the darkness that constantly threatens to overwhelm civilization.

All such claims are false. They are exposed when the true “light of God” radiates brightly in this fallen world. Each alleged “solution” to mankind’s plight has failed time and again. There is only one source of the light that “illuminates every man who is coming into the world.” That source is Jesus Christ.

JOHN’S TESTIMONY


It began with John the Baptist, the “man sent from God” before the “light” who bore witness of it so that men might see it and “believe.” That “light” came to fruition in the Nazarene. In him, all men who believe see the “glory as of the only born of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Moreover, His disciples themselves become “lights in the world” sent to let their “light shine before men so they may glorify their Father in heaven.”  The fullness of His light and life are manifested in His Son, and that light is reflected in his followers as they bear witness of Jesus before the world – (John 1:1-14).

Thus, Jesus alone is the “light of the world,” and there is no other source of “life.” His disciples become the shining “city on a hill” because they let HIS light shine in their lives. They are called to mediate that light to all men.

In the Gospel of John, the Baptist declares that the Son of God, the “Word become flesh,” is the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” John testified before Israel that Jesus is the Son of God, the only one in whom the light, life, “grace and truth” of God are found. He is the “Good News,” the Gospel – (John 1:29-34).

LIGHT AND LIFE


John’s Gospel opens by declaring that God created all things by His “Word,” the “Logos.” In him, God has given concrete and living form to the same “word,” the Logos by which He made the Heavens and the Earth. Jesus is the light because he is the true and full expression of the living God. Anyone who believes in him no longer “abides in the darkness” – (John 12:44-50).

In his first epistle, John summarizes this proposition by employing several of the terms and themes found in the Prologue of his gospel account:

  • That which was FROM THE BEGINNING, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the WORD OF LIFE. And the LIFE WAS MANIFESTED, and we have seen, and BEAR WITNESS, and declare unto you the everlasting lifewhich was with the Father, and was MANIFESTED TO US. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us. Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ” – (1 John 1:1-3).

Jesus is the “Word of Life” that is manifested in the world, therefore the “darkness is passing away, and the true light already is shining.” The “darkness cannot seize” the light. Instead, it retreats wherever it is shining – (1 John 1:1-3, 2:8).

As He said to his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” No one comes to God “except through me.” That is also why he said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” The true nature of the Father is found in Jesus and nowhere else.


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