by Ellen Ceely
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 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. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” - John 1:1-9
Have you ever been in a blackout and struggled to find a candle or a flashlight or even to turn your phone flashlight on? For me, blackouts always strike instant anxiety and fear. I feel trapped, unable to move, and unsafe. It doesn’t matter that I know, logically, I’m still just as safe as I was before the lights went out. My fear and anxiety calm down quickly, but when I see that first glimmer of light, a distinct relief washes over me.
Switches can be turned off, power plants can break down, and candles or flashlights can run out. But darkness cannot, of its own accord, overpower light. Light must be snuffed out, covered up and hidden in order for darkness to win. Light will always pierce through darkness, even if it’s only a small glimmer in a vast space. Storms will always cease no matter how unending they seem and the sun will always rise anew. Even the moon bears witness to the fact that darkness cannot win and is not forever.
John writes to tell us that Jesus is light. He is the Creator: without him no one and nothing would exist. Jesus is God, he was there in the beginning, and all life came into being because of him. Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was formless and empty, and darkness reigned. But then Jesus changed everything. John writes to remind God’s people that Jesus has always been the answer to the darkness of the world. He broke through the darkness at the beginning of time (Gen. 1:3) and he has continued to break through darkness throughout all of history, especially when he came to earth as a tiny, helpless baby.
Though the sun shone, and the stars were bright, God’s people were living in darkness and despair when Jesus broke through. He came to bring new life and light to a world that desperately needed him, a world lost in sin. Beginning with birth in a humble stable and ending with an empty tomb and a promise to return, Jesus broke through the dark hold of death and pointed us toward what eternity with him will be like. Darkness will disappear forever and with it so will fear, anxiety, despair, and sin. Jesus is light, and he will have the final say.
How has Jesus changed your life? What areas of your life has he transformed? Are there dark places where you struggle to let him in with his light? Take time throughout the day to think about what it means for your life to be in relationship with Jesus, the light of the world. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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