January 8th, 2020
From: "The Parable of Joy: Reflections on the Wisdom of the Book of John"
3 Through Him all things came into being and without Him nothing came to be, not one single thing. 4 In Him was LIFE and the LIFE was the LIGHT of all people.
When John sought to describe his friend Jesus, two words stuck in his mind: light and life. But these were not meant to be merely theological terms, for as the source of light and life it is Jesus who is the true Creator. Every hillside He climbed had been fashioned by His own hand, even the final hill called Calvary. Every tree that offered Him coolness and shade had been carved out of nothingness by Him, even that dark tree from which the cross would be carved.
This One who was "in the beginning" was not merely standing by as the world was created; He was, in fact, the creative force of God, His Word. When God said "Let Light be," the Light that in fact already was, was Jesus. The notion that it was a part of the church's earliest confession of Him and is contained in the Wisdom writings (see Prov. 8:22). Three separate writers in the New Testament speak of Jesus in this way. Besides John, Paul writes in Colossians 1:15-17:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things [hold together].
Similarly, the writer of Hebrews [Apollos?], said:
In these last days [He has] spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. (1:2)
The One who is Life and Light, who was from the beginning, is the One through whom the Father created time and space. The Creator-Christ is also the Re-Creator, the source of new creation as well as the old, the One in whom all creation is sustained and held together.
The purpose of John's sermon is to set the tone for the rest of the Gospel. The Light came to the darkness, but the darkness could not, would not, understand. The Creator came to His own, but the creatures misunderstood His coming.
Whenever John speaks of Light, the darkness is always there in the background of his story so that we might understand the brilliance of the One who is the true Light. When he speaks of the Life, a dead man will be somewhere close by. When the Wisdom of God opens His mouth as Understanding Incarnate, the foolish will always be close at hand, misunderstanding. Light and Life are the keys John uses in this great song of faith; they are the primary colors in this stunning portrait.