TRUE LIGHT by Pastor Shah, Clearview Church, Henderson
This morning we are in John 1 in our series on the Life of Christ and our message is titled – “TRUE LIGHT.” Every town has that one house during Christmas that everything is lit up, even the doghouse! If you’re like me, you say – “I wonder what their electric bill’s gonna be like!” What do lights have to do with Christmas?
John 1 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
Overall Background: The passage we just read has received more attention than probably any other portion of the Bible. Alexander MacLaren, called it “the profoundest page in the New Testament.” J. Sidlow Baxter called it “the primordial nucleus” of the whole book. It is rich with truth and imagery about Jesus. But typically when people come to this passage, they focus on Jesus being the Word of God – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Although that is important, the word “Word” occurs only 4 times in the opening chapter of John but the word “Light” is found in John everywhere –
- In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
- In John 9:5 Jesus said, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
- In John 12:46 Jesus said, “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”
A NT scholar by the name of J. Ramsey Michaels pointed out that – while the Word is the “audible revelation” of God, the Light is “the visible revelation.” What’s the difference? The Word tells us how to live. The Light shows us how to live. There’s a big difference between “tell” and “show.” Let me illustrate – let’s say the power was to go out and it’s pitch dark. I could tell you where to find the fuse box. If you could not see anything, more than likely you would never find it and even get hurt in the process. Or I could get a flashlight and tell you to follow me. Which one would you like? Of course – the flashlight. Jesus is not only the Word of God but He is also the Light of God.
Application: Do you need light in your life today? Then turn to Jesus. Are you facing a dark situation in your life? Ask Jesus to help. Does it seem like there is no way out? Trust him to show you the way. But first – is He your Savior? Are you following Him?
There are four things that will help us understand Jesus as the true light:
I. THE DARKNESS INSIDE US ALL.
4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
Background: God made every human being in His image. Hence, we have the ability to love, reason, and create. This is the light of God in us but it’s also much more. You have to think about what makes a human being. We know that a human being is body and spirit – physical and spiritual. That’s the basic breakdown of every person in this world. But let’s study it a little more. The physical is not just the physiological but also the emotional and intellectual. Physiological – every person has a physical body (hands, feet, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth). If you go deeper, then it is heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Then there is also the Emotional – sadness, happiness, love, hate, fear, and hope. Then attached to it is the Intellectual – ability to reason, make decisions, create, and destroy. Every human being has some level of the physical, the emotional, and intellectual. Is this all there is to human beings? There’s one more thing – Spiritual. This goes beyond physical, emotional, and intellectual. No matter how strong a person will become as an athlete or how beautifully they can sing as an artist, no matter how a person can use or abuse their emotions – get angry or be patient or be happy or be sad, no matter how smart a person can become – invent the next greatest thing or harness the power of the atom or fly into space, there will always be a darkness deep within.
Do you want to know what this darkness is? It is the spiritual part of us. It is the need to connect with the creator. Augustine – the pastor of a church in Hippo (modern-day Algeria) in North Africa, a great pastor, leader, and Christian theologian – wrote in his book called confessions: “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in you.”
Every culture, civilization, and people group has tried to turn on the light inside. Some have tried to worship the stars. Some have tried to worship the earth – trees, rivers, and the animals. Some have tried to worship another human being. Some have even tried to worship their own selves. Some have tried to worship a created object – an idol, a painting, or a temple. Some have tried to worship the oneness of God. But nothing turns on the light.
Listen again to John 1:4 “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Meaning: To have this light, you need the life of Jesus. It will not come from success at stretching your body to the limits, singing the highest or the lowest note, climbing the peak of the tallest mountain, jumping into the deepest sea, flying into deep space, being a good father, being a good mother, being a good neighbor, being a good citizen, inventing the next cure for cancer, or uncovering some hidden conspiracy. In only comes in the person of Jesus. This is the natural order of things. Colossians 3 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Application: Do you have Jesus? Is He in your life? Do you have a living connection with Him? If not, you are living in darkness, no matter how successful you are.
II. THE VICTORY OF LIGHT OVER DARKNESS.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Background: Now we hear about a new concept – “darkness.” John assumes that the listener knows what this darkness is. The light was turned off when Adam and Eve ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It corrupted everything. It tore the original design. Since then darkness has tried to rule the world with collapse of traditional values, marital conflict, addiction, stealing, murder, hate, and enmity with God. The list goes on.
But John does not waste time discussing the darkness. He says, “the light has already come and it is shining brightly. What’s more? The translation says – “and the darkness did not comprehend it.” Actually the translation should be “overtake it.” Do you know that darkness hates the light? Listen to John 3:19 “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.”
For e.g. Man made excuses about church. Why? It’s more fun to live in darkness.
But what’s the result of the conflict between light and darkness? Light won! As I John 2:8 says, “A new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.” Isaac Watts wrote his famous hymn – “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does its successive journeys run; his kingdom spread from shore to shore, till moons shall wax and wane no more.”
Application: Do you believe that light will win over darkness? Are you living with that faith? Are you sharing the truth about Jesus with others?
III. THE NEED FOR WITNESSES OF LIGHT.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
Background: Why can’t light just shine and everybody be convinced that we need to go from darkness to light? Let me ask you a question – How do you convince the blind regarding light? It’s not just that people are living in darkness but that they are blind. They can’t see. Someone has to describe light to him or her.
John was a witness of the light:
- Matthew 3 1 In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
- Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, “I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
- John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
People need witnesses because they are blind. The more they hear you, the more their eyes begin to open.
Application: Are you witnessing for Jesus? Are people around you seeing the light of Jesus? Have you seen the light? I cannot give witness until I’ve seen it myself.
IV. EVERYONE IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE LIGHT.
9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
Do I have to explain that? Jesus is for every man but you have to receive Him as your Savior.
Some of us are looking at false lights. Jesus is the true light of the world who immediately sets everything into clear view – Sin is exposed, holiness is revealed, and salvation is offered. Without Christ we will continue to live in darkness in our homes, relationships, and spiritual lives. With Christ our world comes alive. Have you ever received the light of Jesus in your life?