Archive for May, 2007
Welcome to the 90 Days With Jesus daily devotional and meditation. Today’s Scripture is John 1:1-9. Stop back each day for new meditations and devotions from John’s Gospel.
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. (NIV)
Jesus was no mere afterthought. He is no mere afterthought. The church he established is no mere afterthought or parenthesis. In the beginning was the Word. Immediately, we begin to think of Genesis. In the beginning God. John begins at the same place where the Bible begins: In the beginning with God. And God said, “Let there be light.” And John says, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men.” In Genesis learn that God was in the beginning; In John the same phrase, ‘In the beginning God,’ is given a slight twist: ‘In the beginning was the Word…” Peter Jones writes, “But John adds more clarity to the plural name Elohim: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…Through [the Word] all things were made.'” (Peter Jones, Only One Way?, 56)
Jesus is about life and light. The way before us is dark. The way around us is dark. The way of the world we inhabit is dark. It is full of darkness, and who can see? Who can find their way through all this murkiness? How long do we continue to grope and grab in this world with eyes wide shut? “The light shines in darkness.” This is a statement of fact. The light spread out in the place of darkness because it was the place of darkness that needed the light. (And not only spread out, but began taking back ground; conquering!) God saw what was needed here: Illumination. Not in some mystical, search deep within yourself illumination. But the sort of illumination where someone comes in from the outside and does the obvious: He ‘flips the switch’ and turns on the light thus exposing what was concealed, hidden, and unrevealed. We see, because of Christ, what we are really up against; what we are really fighting; and how badly we are losing. People will never find their way so long as they continue to stumble in darkness. We needed light. We needed our eyes opened. We needed outside help. Later Jesus will say, “I am the Light of the World.”
John also says that this darkness cannot overcome the light (vs 5). The darkness may not understand light, but even more it fails to conquer it. That is what he says in the Greek. Here’s my question: Why does the church, then, live as though it is a defeated being? PT Forsyth is most insightful here: “And so we are not hopeful that the world will be overcome; we know it has been. We are born into an overcome, redeemed world. To be sure of that changes the whole complexion of life, religion, and action in a way to which to-day we are strange” (The Justification of God, p 219). He went on, “Christianity is not the sacrifice we make, but the sacrifice we trust; not the victory we win, but the victory we inherit. That is the evangelical principle. We do not see the answer; we trust the Answerer and measure by Him. We do not gain the victory; we are united with the Victor” (The Justification of God, 220-221).
And there is only one Light. There is no other. There is only One True Light. All others, he will declare later, are liars and thieves who only mean to cheat and steal what is not theirs. There is only One, the One and Only, who gives men the light they need for life. There is only One in whom the light is found. There is only One in whom we can have life. There is only One who will overcome the darkness and not allow the darkness to overcome the Light. There is only One and His Name is Jesus.
God bless you on this 1st of 90 Days with Jesus!