“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.” John i.4, 5
The Bible declares that humanity lives in darkness. Darkness represents ignorance, death and evil. Despite all our claims to be homo sapiens, the Wise Ones, we lack true knowledge about our Maker and we are clueless about the greatest of our problems, namely, death. Our inclination to think and act wickedly remains unchanged.
Light, on the other hand, represents God’s knowledge imparted to humanity through revelation. It stands for the holiness and righteousness of God. It also symbolizes the gift of everlasting life as a remedy for death. There is only one hope for us who dwell in darkness. God has to reveal himself to us. God has to impart His life to us and make us immortal. God has to shine the light of his glory into our lives and rid us of our sin.
God had revealed Himself to Abraham and his descendants, the Jews, and this revelation was enshrined in the words of the Torah. The Jews considered their scriptures to be the true source of wisdom and light. They believed that they could gain eternal life through the careful observance of their Law. However, the apostle John unveiled to them a superior revelation – a revelation that brings eternal life. That light was not enclosed in a set of books but was embodied in a Person called the Logos or the Word. “In the beginning was the Logos …” He was the ultimate revelation of God to all humanity. He was God who had life in Himself and could impart life to anyone who believed in Him. This eternal life was available to everyone and, unlike Gnostic teachings, there were no secret passwords that restricted life just to a privileged few.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. (v. 9) And yet, the world did not recognize Him. Worse still, He came to “His own” people. Most of them rejected Him. But there was a minority that received Jesus as their Messiah. To them, He gave the coveted privilege of being the children of God. Those who loved their sinful ways crept back into hideous crevices in order to hide from his holy gaze. They resisted the true Light and invited God’s judgment upon themselves (John iii. 19-21). Jesus restored sight to the blind; those who claimed to see were blind to his glory (John ix. 39-41). They continued to fight Him until they arrested and condemned Him. He told the High Priest who tried Him that they would “see” the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
How could death hold Him who had life in Himself? Jesus rose again in full glory to be exalted and crowned the King of kings. Darkness still seems to reign all around us. There is only one way to get rid of it. We should spread the true light and dispel darkness. Like John the baptist, who was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light, (v. 8 ) we too should bear witness. The testimony of God’s people is powerful. No amount of good works can supplant the need for verbal witnessing. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Instead of complaining about the darkness in this world, let us hold forth the light of Jesus Christ to the world.