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The Message of John (Lesson 2)
Light in the Darkness | John 1:5
"Light that shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
In the first chapter of his gospel, John presents Jesus as the light of the world.
If you've ever been afraid of the dark, you know what a relief it is when the lights come on. Light is good news. That is who Jesus came to bring to us and be for us–light in the darkness.
The image of light is used in the Bible to represent God's presence and revelation. In the Old Testament, the light is associated with the presence of God in the tabernacle and the temple, and it's used to represent the revelation of God's glory and presence.
In the New Testament, light imagery is focused on Jesus, in whom all the Old Testament pictures of light are fulfilled.
John 1:5 says, "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
This image of light shining in the darkness represents the revelation of God's glory and his presence in the world. If darkness represents spiritual blindness and rebellion against God's wisdom, Jesus, as the light, enters the darkness to reveal both truth and grace–the truth about our sin and the grace his life would bring to those willing to repent of sin and receive him as Savior and Lord.
The fact that darkness cannot overcome the light confirms that the truth and grace of Jesus can penetrate even the darkest places and bring hope and salvation to all who will receive him.
By the way, it may be helpful to notice that Jesus doesn't merely reflect light. He is light.
Something that reflects light needs to be facing the light. That is what we do by looking upon Jesus with faith as our crucified and risen Savior. The more we savor the beauty of his love for us, the more we'll be able to reflect his kindness, mercy, and grace to others.
In other words, when we are loved by him, we will be able to reflect his love for us toward others–all for his glory and praise!
What does light reveal?
As the light, what did Jesus come to reveal?
How might knowing the light of Jesus overcomes the darkness encourage you?
In what way does the light of God shine most brightly upon the cross?
In what ways can we reflect the light of Jesus to the world around us?
A Suggested Prayer
Dear Lord Jesus,
We thank you for being the light that shines in the darkness. We confess that without you, there would be no light and no hope.
So, help us to trust in your kindness, love, and grace, and to seek your wisdom in the midst of darkness.
In your name, we pray, Amen.