We’re going through the New Testament now and seeking a Trinitarian understanding of Scripture. Just recently I had a skeptic tell me that he sees the Trinity as a rather meaningless doctrine. As a strong Trinitarian, I am just utterly stunned by that. Sadly, I think the church has given reason to think that. We need to have an understanding of the Trinity in more than something to argue over Jehovah’s Witnesses with, but a living reality in our lives that affects us every day.
We’ve been going through the gospel of John and today, we’re at the fifth verse of the first chapter.
The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Light. It’s one of the favorite words John uses. Lest we think it’s just a favorite word, he can pack much meaning into it. Consider this usage from 1 John 1:5.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
This doesn’t mean that every usage of the word “light” means that we automatically put in the word “God.” However, we should pay attention when John decides to mention light. When Jesus says he is the light in John 8, it could mean much more than a physical light shining in darkness.
What is this darkness anyway? It’d have to be us. We are said to live in darkness and not only that, we love it. It could be that if we were honest with ourselves, we’re more like bugs that when the bright light is shone, have to scurry and crawl away in order to get to a place that is dark. We all know it’s often easier to do that which we ought not to do than that which we ought to do.
Jesus is the light. He’s the light that reveals our sin. He is sinless. We are the sinful ones. The problem for us is not that we do not see the light. The problem is that we do not want the light. As John later says:
“This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, andmen loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.
A lot of times, we find ourselves surprised when we are tempted with sinful thoughts. Why? We should find ourselves surprised that we’re not tempted with more sinful thoughts. Do we think ourselves too good that we cannot be capable of such evil that we sometimes think of?
The second part of this verse tells us who will win the struggle though. The light shines in darkness and the darkness does not understand it. It literally means the darkness could not overcome it. It’s the same way. You do not throw darkness into a room and get rid of light. Light comes into places and gets rid of darkness.
This is what Christ alone can do. Because he is fully God, he is able to face the darkness. When Christ touched the leper, he was not made unclean. His cleanliness rather made the leper clean. Christ’s light is the light that shines in the darkness. The darkness cannot overtake it. Every time the death of Christianity has been proclaimed, the body keeps leaping out of the casket. Voltaire said the Bible would be a forgotten book within 100 years. Within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society bought his house and used it to print Bibles. God has a sense of humor.
We shall look at the next verse tomorrow.