Posts Tagged ‘John’

John 1:5  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John uses the contrast of light and darkness is several places in his gospel.  In John 3:16. he writes, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.  18 He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.  21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.

The condemnation is already upon those who love darkness.  The reality is that those who love and practice evil don’t want light to expose them or their deeds.  They prefer to hide in darkness.  But from whom do they hide?  From the God who created them.  It has been so from the beginning.  If we go back to Genesis 3:8, we read:  “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  9 ¶ Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”  10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”    You know the rest of the story, but the point here is that those who violate God’s rules, seek to hide from God.  It is this desire to hide from God that makes darkness their friend.  They hate the light.  It reminds them of the God they have rejected.

The good news is that just like Adam and Eve, God seeks after those who live in darkness.  He would that none would perish.  It is from darkness that many of us were plucked.  As children of God, we bring His light into dark places.  The light in us will dispel the darkness around us.  That is why Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

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John 1:5  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

The Amplified version gives some additional insight:  And the Light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is unreceptive to it.]

The darkness has never overpowered or put out the Light although the Light does shine into the darkness, and the darkness does not receive the Light.  The picture of what happens when light encounters darkness is so much a part of our daily life, that we probably don’t consider it very often.  A room is dark, and then a switch is flipped and light floods the room chasing out the darkness.  Where does the darkness go?  Away from the light.  Darkness and light cannot co-exist.  It is a physical principle as well as a spiritual one.

In the Spiritual realm, much like the physical, when Light enters a person’s life by the power of the Holy Spirit, darkness can no longer dwell in that life.

The Light will always over power the darkness.  Hallelujah!

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In our last post, we considered John 1:4 which says:  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Later in the John’s gospel, in Chapter 12, he records Jesus saying, ” I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”   For the believer, Jesus is promising an end to living (abiding) in darkness.

Ephesians 5:8 and 11 says:  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. . . 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

What changes about light and darkness for the follower of Christ?

The believer doesn’t become a light, but rather the light in the believer’s life comes from God, from Jesus dwelling within Him.  We are vessels for the light.   Galatians tell us, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).

By the Spirit of God dwelling in the believer, he or she becomes a light.  Jesus also said we should let our light shine, let others see the light that is in us.  It is not meant to be hidden.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna’ let it shine.
Let it shine!  Let it shine!  Let it shine!

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The gospel of John represents one piece in a four-part testimony of the life of Jesus.  This is important because the Bible requires that there be two witnesses to establish a fact.  The use of four gospels each based on testimony of eye witnesses makes the totality of the gospels very credible.  The fact that each of the gospels is not identical to the others adds to the overall credibility.

If one were to interview four eye-witnesses to any event in history, each of them would emphasize different facts and provide a different presentation of the information depending on their audience.  That is exactly what we find in the gospels – four unique but internally consistent testimonies of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, a real man who lived a real life in Israel.

Looking at all four gospels, we see that each is addressed to a different audience, for example, the Gospel of Mark is written with a gentile (primarily Roman) audience in mind.  Little detail of Jewish history or culture is included.

The Gospel of Matthew is written to the Jewish reader.  Matthew starts off with a very detailed genealogy of Jesus and emphasizes  Jesus as the long-awaited Messiah.

The Gospel of Luke was written to a gentile audience.  In as much as Luke was a physician and educated in Greek, he writes a more detailed, carefully researched gospel focused on Jesus as the Son of Man a Savior sent to save the lost sinner.

The Gospel of John was written with a strong emphasis on the deity of Jesus Christ.  John wrote to encouraged believers and to call unbelievers to faith in Jesus Christ

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As we begin our study in the gospel of John, it is important to consider the context of this gospel and how it fits with the other eye-witness accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus.

First, let us consider where we find the Book of John in the Bible.

The Bible is divided into to sections:  the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Each Testament is divided into further sections.  The Old Testament has five sections:  the books of the law, the books of history, the books of poetry and wisdom, the major prophets and the minor prophets.

Similarly, the New Testament can be divided into five sections:  gospels, history, Pauline epistles, general epistles and the book of Prophecy.

The book of John is found in the first of the five sections of the New Testament.  It is one of four gospels, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  The author of the book is, not surprisingly, John.  What may be surprising or confusing, as I have found from teaching the ladies in the jail, is who this “John” is.  He is NOT John the Baptist.  John the Baptist was  not a major play in the ministry of Jesus.  His own words describe what happened to his ministry when Jesus showed up on the scene, “He must increase and I must decrease.”  That is exactly what happened.

John, the author of the Gospel of John, was an apostle and a disciple of Jesus.  He was very young at the time Jesus was alive, and he lived to a very old age.  He is also the author of four other books found in the New Testament:  1 John, 2 John, 3 John and the book of Revelation.

In our next post, we’ll consider how the gospel of John fits into the four-gospel picture of the life of Christ.

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