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Reflecting the Light

C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory, writes about the kinds of people we interact with daily, “a society of possible gods and goddesses.” He encourages followers of Christ to live in such a way that people move in the right direction and wind up in the right destination. Believers should point people towards the Light.

To which destination (light or darkness) are you leading people?

John 1:6-8

“God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light.”

light

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An important figure

Some of John’s followers wondered whether he was the Christ (Luke 3:15). Some were baptized in John’s name in Ephesus (Acts 19:3). Apollos was introduced as one who “knew only the baptism of John” (Acts 18:25). The Apostle John describes the mission of John the Baptist.

A forerunner

Verse 6 records John was sent by God to be a witness and bear testimony of Jesus. His mission was to point people to Christ.

A point of decision

John brought people to a decision about needing Light. His testimony caused people to start looking for the true Light of the world.

An awakening

The Word came to bring heavenly light, while John came to awaken people to their need of God’s revelation.

Not the light

John the Baptist was not the Light but pointed to the Light. Pastors are not the Light and church members are not the Light.

Believers simply reflect the Light and lead people to Jesus.”

Examples to follow

John the Baptist had a following and ministered to many, yet laid down his ambitions at the revelation of Jesus. He chose to decrease in order for Him to increase.

Dying to self

Followers of Jesus are to die daily (1 Cor. 15:31) and lift up the name of Jesus. Their role is to direct others to the Lamb of God who takes away sin (John 1:29).

The challenge

Point others to Jesus. Share the love of Christ by the way you live. People around you need to be awakened to the need of a Savior.

What are some practical ways you can point others to Jesus? Share your comments below.

Life in the Word

The more I purpose myself to live devoted to Jesus, the more abundantly I live. As I allow my thoughts and desires to align with His, the more I experience life to the fullest. Are you willing to let go and pursue an abundant life in Jesus?

John 1:3-5

“All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

The Word and creation

The universe is not due to chaos or chance. The world is due to God acting through his Word. Creation is His.

life

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Christ over creation

Apart from the Word, existence is impossible. “For through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see – such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.” (Col 1:16, 17)

Nuclear physicists willfully admit a “force” holds atomic nuclei together. They use terms such as “mesons”, “nucleons” and “strong nuclear force.” John 1:3 and Colossians 1:17 acknowledges the “force” is Jesus.

He holds everything together.”

The Word and life

Because of life in the Logos there is life on the earth. Life does not exist on its own. “He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils” (Gen. 2:7).

Jesus is the source of eternal life to those dead in trespasses and sins (Eph 2:1). In Him purpose and power is available to men. He is ultimate hope.

Life in Jesus

Jesus is the source of natural and spiritual life. John uses the word “life” thirty-six times. John states:

  • Jesus came that people might have life to the full (John 10:10)
  • He died so that people might have everlasting life (3:16)
  • He gave his flesh for the life of the world (6:51)
  • Only those who come to him have life (5:40)
  • Jesus is the life (John 11:25, 14:6)

The Word and light

Jesus, the life-bringer and light-bearer, is the light of the world (John 8:12, 9:5). The Word of God is the teacher of mankind. You have access to the light, whether you walk in it or turn your back to it.

Light in darkness

The world is filled with darkness, sin, death, separation from God, hatred, violence, jealousy, pride, and lust. The light is continually in action and shines in darkness; opposes darkness and dispels darkness.

The challenge

Allow the Spirit of God to transform your life. Pursue an abundant life in Jesus. Permit His light to expose dark places in your life. Purpose yourself to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and lighten up dark places.

What are some practical ways of bringing light to the world? Share your comments below.

John’s Gospel

As a child I remember new believers being instructed at church to read John’s gospel. Copies of his gospel are available for distribution, separate from the Bible. The reason? John’s gospel is simple to read and clear in purpose.

Simple and Profound

One commentator compared John’s Gospel “to a pool in which a child may wade and an elephant can swim.” It is both simple and profound, good for both new believers and mature followers.

John’s purpose

The Apostle stated the purpose for writing the gospel was, “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (20:31).

Greeks and Hebrews

John attempts to unite Greek and Hebrew thinking. Hebrews understood Jesus as the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, a Jew who spoke Hebrew and came as the Messiah. Gentiles, filling the early church, did not speak Hebrew, knew very little about a messiah, but loved Jesus. Their Greco philosophy understood the Word as something reconciling all things together in harmony. John brings the Hebrew and Greek worlds together within his book.

A different gospel

John’s gospel is different in style and story than the other three. Matthew, Mark and Luke appear to give accounts of Jesus public ministry, while John incorporates the informal teachings that took place in private. He includes the public ministry of Jesus but more often dives into His private conversations with the Twelve.

John

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John 1:1-2

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. “

A new beginning

Genesis opens with the phrase, “In the beginning” (Gen. 1:1). By replicating this phrase, John announces a new beginning, a new creation in Jesus. Genesis 1 described the first creation; John 1 declares the new creation.

The Word

Verse one is written in a way that denotes there never was a time when the Word was not. There is not a thing that does not depend on him for its existence. “Beginning” also indicates “origin”. In other words, the Word existed before creation and was not created. The Word is greater than all things. He is greater than time and is as changeless as eternity.

Revealing God

Words are how people communicate thoughts or issue commands. Words formulate communication with others. “The Word” reveals God, by His very nature, seeks to communicate with His creation. He is not far off or indifferent. God is revealing Himself through Jesus, the Word.

With God

A direct translation of “the Word was with God,” is “the Word was toward God.” The Word exists in the closest possible connection with the Father. The Word and God are not identical but are one.

Was God

The phrase is not, “the Word was a god,” or “the Word was like God,” but “the Word was God.”

Jesus is not simply divine but is God. John refers to Jesus as God before coming to earth, in 1:18 he refers to Jesus as God after becoming a man, and in 20:28 he refers to Jesus as God after rising from the dead.

Unity

The “Word” was one with God, rather than “a god” or another divine being. Unity of nature is implied, rather than similarity or likeness. Jesus is one with God.

The challenge

Put your faith in Jesus, the Son of God. Examine Jesus, the Word, for a better understanding of God.

In what ways has Jesus, the Word, spoken to you? Share your comments below.