In him was life, and the life was the light of men
Everyone and everything has their existence and being from God. No one and nothing self-exists, except God. He alone is the “I AM WHO I AM” (Ex. 3:14). This implies our utter dependence, for He is the One who “gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25). He holds in His hand “the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10).
“In him was life” is another declaration about Jesus’ deity. He is the self-existing One. He doesn’t derive life from someone else. At the beginning of his gospel, John stated that the Life Giver has come. He, the Source of all life, came to give eternal life to the spiritually dead.
The second statement seems a reference to Adam and Eve’s enjoyment of God before their fall into sin. There was then such a beauty of life and light—harmony with God. They truly knew and had fellowship with Him, which is the essence of life: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The true knowledge of God is “the light of men.” Apart from Him there’s only darkness.
In reference to Jesus, Proverbs gives a glimpse into this blissful state: “Rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man” (Pr. 8:31). This blissful state was devastatingly interrupted by sin, which is what the next verse will address.
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“