John 1:1-5: "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 anything 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."
Jesus came from the Father, was going to the Father, and was one with the Father. In Jesus, there was true light and perfect truth. When Jesus spoke, he spoke the very words of God. In Jesus, people could find their way to the Father. As the Creator of all that is, Jesus was not just light but eternal light. Through the incarnation, that light was coming to the earth for all people to see.
The world had become dark for the people of God. When Jesus came into the world, there had been four hundred years since a prophet had spoken to God's people. They suffered great oppression at the hands of the Romans. The Israelites longed for the light of God and the liberation of God from their distress.
It was into this dark world that Jesus was born. Where the Lord had dwelt with his people through the tabernacle and then in the temple, God came to dwell with his people through the person of Jesus. Jesus was God made manifest. While he was human, he was also God. Because he was God, the words of Jesus held great authority. His words were trustworthy and true just as the word of God had been all throughout Israel's history.
God's word challenged the nation from the beginning and the words of Jesus continued to challenge the nation of Israel. During his earthly ministry, many people rejected Jesus as their Messiah. They chose darkness instead of light. The light of Christ challenged the nation of Israel in their sin, in their hard-heartedness, and in their desire to earn their way to salvation. Jesus taught another way. Salvation would be found in him alone. While many rejected Jesus, many others received the light and found new hope, new life, and eternal security with the Father.
The religious and political leaders thought they could extinguish the light. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, light overcame the darkness. Through his resurrection, Jesus conquered sin, death, and Satan. The darkness could not overcome the light of Jesus. Thankfully, that was true then, and it is true today.
This Christmas season, we are invited to accept the light of Jesus, to walk in the light, and to share his light with others. May he illuminate our lives today!
How would the Lord want to shine his light into your life in a new way today?