John 1:9-10 The true Light illuminates the way towards abundant life

John 1:9-10 The true Light illuminates the way towards abundant life

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.

Background

This passage depicts the Light as not being understood or assimilated by the world. The Light reveals divine wisdom, truth that exposes deception. The Light reveals the way to abundant life and salvation. Man avoids the Light because the values of God are in direct opposition to the values of the world.

Observation

1. Jesus is that true light that enlightens every man. The word enlightens means to shed light, to reveal God and the way of eternal life. The opposite of enlightenment is blindness.

2. The term true is used to depict that which comes from God. True light can be contrasted with natural light. As natural light illuminates the things in the physical environment. True light illuminates reveals the hearts of men and it reveals the way to an abundant life. Put it simply, the true light gives all true perspective to who God is, who we are, the way to abundant living, and the state of the world around us.

3. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him. Christ is not only the Creator of the world, He is the design and image through which the world is created. In other words, the wisdom of Christ are embedded in Creation. And Christ’s greatest creation is humanity who is made in His image. And the world was made for the purpose that Christ may rule over it.

4. “… and the world did not know Him.” The fact that the humanity rejected Jesus, the Creator and Designer of the world speaks of their blindness. Despite the divine wisdom that is evident in Creation, they cannot recognise and honour Jesus as the Creator. The world, having received the false light, are blinded to the extent they can no longer differentiate truth and falsehood.

Truth

Humility is the key to receiving the true Light that enlightens us towards eternal life.

The written word bears no benefit without the enlightening presence of the true Light. The Jews studied the scripture diligently but could not find eternal life because they were proud and self-seeking. They refused to humble themselves before Jesus to receive eternal life. Jesus said to the Jews,

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life…How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? John 5:39-40, 43

To the humble, God reveals wisdom; way of eternal life. Proverbs says,

When pride comes, then comes dishonor,
But with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

Many find the bible dry and trite because they were not ready to let go of their pride and current convictions.

their minds refused to be enlightened by the true Light. When a man reads the word without divine enlightenment, he focuses on what he should do in obtain blessings. The word becomes like a law or formula through which he fulfils his hearts desires. But when a man is enlightened, the written word convicts him of his sins and at the same time, the love of God. And this imbues in him wisdom for eternal life.

How should we posture our hearts so that we may be enlightened?

  • Understand that wisdom is perceived from God, not a product of clever analysis.
  • Willing to subject our present convictions to the light of the word.
  • Willing to subject our psyche, personality, likes and dislikes to the regeneration of the word.
  • Be diligent in spending time and effort to study the biblical and historical context and even the language of the bible.
  • Willing to subject our will to the God’s directives.
  • Recognise divine wisdom as the only source of eternal life.

Application

1.  Believers must study the bible diligently and conscientiously using our minds. In so doing, we establish an objectivity based on the written word. As divine wisdom is concrete and objective, so it must rest on the unchanging word. Those who do not put effort in the studying the word sway and vacillate in their opinions and convictions. Having established the observation through the study of the word, we look to God seeking divine wisdom and truths for living. Here, we subject the secrets of our heart to searching eyes of God. We do not seek to understand theology per se, but how we should live in order to please God. Theology is useful only to the extent that it regenerate man through divine wisdom. In summary, we can say that we study the written word with our intellect, and we receive divine wisdom with our hearts.

2. Honour those who persevere in doing what is right and reject the lure of temptations. The world will not approve of those who are Christ-like, neither will they receive them into their fold. Beware of the ranking system of the world. They lift up those who bring results, not necessarily with righteous means. Treasure and cherish those with qualities of integrity, diligence, humility, and gentleness.

Dear Lord, help me to be sensitive to the ways of Jesus. I open my mind and heart to the Light so that I may gain wisdom through the written word. I will not speak or act hastily out of fear and anxiety. Neither will I make important decision without consulting You. I place my security and faith fully in You and Your guidance. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


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