Light and Life
Jesus is the only true Light in the World that shines all the brighter in the darkness, and his light means life for the World. According to the Apostle John, “life” is found in the “Word” or “Logos,” and that life is the “Light of men.” At present, it is “shining in the darkness,” and the darkness “cannot seize” or suppress it. This same “Word” has become the living word in Jesus of Nazareth. In him, the glory and life of God are fully manifested.
Moreover, his disciples are summoned to “testify” of the Light in this dark world. There are many competitors in the World clamoring for our attention, claiming to be true light, sources of illumination, and shining cities on hills.
|[Photo by Anthony Cantin on Unsplash]|
With the manifestation of God’s “light” in His Son, already, the “darkness is passing away, and the true light is shining.”. This must be so since “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” – (1 John 1:5, 2:8).
In this darkened world, Political ideologies, philosophies, religions, economic theories, and messianic figures declare themselves to be the way, humanity’s best hope for peace and life, supposed bulwarks against the darkness that threatens to overwhelm the Earth. At best, all such claims are shadowy counterfeits that are exposed when the True “Light of God” radiates brightly in this fallen age.
In fact, all such claims are false. They all have failed time and again, and according to John, there is only one source of the True Light that “illuminates every man who is coming into the World,” and the “Light” and “Life” are inextricably linked, namely, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
TESTIMONY OF THE BAPTIST
It began with John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, the “man sent from God” before the “Light” who bore witness of it so that men might “believe.” That “Light” came to fruition in the Nazarene. All men who believe see the “glory as of the only born of the Father - full of grace and truth.”
Moreover, his disciples become his “Lights in the World” summoned to let their “light shine before men so they may glorify their Father in heaven.” The fullness of His Light and Life are manifested in His son, and that light is reflected in his followers as they bear witness about Jesus and follow in his footsteps – (John 1:1-14).
Thus, Jesus is the “Light of the World,” and there is no other source of “Life” but him. His followers become the true shining “City on a Hill” because they let HIS light shine in them. There is no genuine light or life apart from him, and his Assembly is called to mediate that light to all men.
In the Gospel of John, the Baptist declared that Jesus of Nazareth is the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World.” Thus, he testified before the World that Jesus is the Son of God, the only one in whom the Light and Life of God are found. – (John 1:29-34).
LIGHT AND LIFE
John’s Gospel opens by declaring that God created all things by His “Word,” the “Logos.” “Light” and “Life” are found only in this “Word made flesh.” In him, the Creator of all things has given concrete and living form to the same “Word” by which He made the Heavens and the Earth.
Jesus is the Light of the World because he is the true and full expression of the Word by which God made the Cosmos. That is why anyone who believes in him no longer “abides in the darkness” – (John 12:44-50).
In his first epistle, John summarized the belief that Jesus is the Light and Life of the World, and he employed several of the terms and themes from the prologue of his Gospel to do so:
- “That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we beheld, and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life. And the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare unto you the everlasting life, which was with the Father, and was manifested to us. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us. Indeed, our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ” – (1 John 1:1-3).
Hence, he is the “Word of Life” that is manifested in the World. Because in him this “Word of Life” has entered the World, the “darkness is passing away, and the true light already is shining.” The “darkness cannot seize” the Light. Instead, it retreats wherever it shines – (1 John 1:1-3, 2:8).
In a very dark world, Jesus is the bright light that radiates God’s life, truth, and hope to all men and women, and there is no other. In him alone, the fullness of God’s grace and truth are presented for all men to see.
As He said to his disciples, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” No one comes to his Father “except through me.” That is also why he said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” The true nature of God is found in Jesus and nowhere else.