Not only did John start his gospel with emphasizing Jesus’ deity, he also highlighted that God’s promised Redeemer had come. He would conquer our sin and death.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it
In the previous verse there’s a reference to Adam and Eve’s blissful state, truly knowing and enjoying their Creator. Jesus was their light and life. There was harmony, peace, and joy in relating to God and with each other.
That drastically changed when they drank the serpent’s poison. He portrayed God with lies and deceit, enticing them to reject Him. As a result, darkness and deception entered man’s mind and existence—to reject God’s light and truth is to embrace darkness and deception. Man’s true understanding and enjoyment of God was gone—the serpent’s poison was running its course, affecting the whole human race. Was all hope lost? Would darkness and deception forever prevail? None whatsoever!
God promised a Savior who would come and conquer: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). When Jesus was about to be born, Zechariah prophesied: “The sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78-79).
Jesus is “the light of the world.” He stated: “Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). He came to our darkness and deception—not knowing God in truth—and shone forth His life and light, demonstrating who God is: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
What guarantee, though, do we have that this time the darkness will not also overcome “the light of men”? John’s statement is quite clear: “The darkness has not overcome it.” While the serpent tried to tempt Jesus, He overcame him, conquering the darkness of our sin and death. Paul stated that as follows: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). What was lost by sin and rebellion was regained by God’s grace and mercy.
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“