"Light in darkness"
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.
digital painting in Corel Painter
I'm starting to read the book of John now. I haven't read it in awhile and like to spend time in the New Testament with Jesus. In Proverbs, we saw how bad a mouth out of control can be. John and his brother James had a little episode with this. They told Jesus to call down a lightening bolt to destroy a village, because they didn't believe.
You know how it is, when you blurt out something and everyone looks at you in shocked horror. Your face turns red and you'd like to hide. Their Mother didn't help much. She asked Jesus if her two sons could sit at his left and right hand. If I were one of the other 10 disciples, I'd be a bit miffed. So when I come to the book of John, I have a great deal of respect for him- my start as a Christian was a bit rocky too. Jesus called James and John, sons of thunder (Mark 3:17). John's very humble and slow to speak after "THE INCIDENT." He seems shy even. From the cross, Jesus gave Mary to be John's Mother. John would've written this after Jesus' resurrection, probably during the Roman persecution of the early Church, 60-90 AD. By this time the disciples would know how essential it was to write down all that they had witnessed for the next generations. Including us!
You'd think God would provide a Bible filled with perfection. People who are shining examples of righteousness. It's not like that. We're not like that. God knew if it was like that, we'd give up. So He provided us with the truth instead. The shining example of righteousness is their faith and obedience.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Jesus was with God in the beginning, during creation. Jesus is life and light. When Jesus walked among men, He went to the Jews first. They are the chosen ones. They refused His message and chose to dwell in their own darkness instead. He waits for us to choose Him today instead of our darkness. There are things about God that we just can't grasp or understand, this is where faith comes in. We know Jesus has always been with God. The trinity is hard for us to understand because we are human, one life, one body... The trinity is God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God has three forms. The Father rules the universe, the Son is the sacrifice for our sin. The Holy Spirit is our counsellor within us, our helper. He is the One God.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
We call him John the Baptist. He was the first Jesus freak. He lived in the wilderness eating locusts and wild honey (Matt. 3:1-4). His job was to announce Jesus' coming. He was also Jesus' cousin. John and Jesus had their first connection before they were born. John would have been slightly older (as babies). Jesus is eternal, of course.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
God is a gentleman. He doesn't force Himself on anyone. He wants us to be able to choose for ourselves if we will follow Him. By receiving Him, we are born of God. Jesus has always been in the world since creation. Yet no one recognized Him. I didn't recognize Him either until after I chose to believe.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”
I think of the transfiguration, and His baptism. When John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit came down as a dove. Can you imagine what it would be like to see a man who could heal? It must've been so sacred. God reaching out in flesh to heal a blind person or paraplegic. I'd probably cry, such mercy and grace.
16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Without God's grace, we wouldn't stand a chance. Jesus came to pay our debt of dark deeds and sin. He came to give us a new life of faith and hope. He brought the truth. The light.