John 1:6-13: the light of the word.

Devotional Readings from The Gospel of John

John 1:6-13

“As many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God.”

There is nothing more paralyzing than absolute darkness. Stand in a deep cave and turn off all light, and darkness is not only visually impairing but is also felt. When standing in total darkness, one quickly becomes disoriented, and all sense of direction is lost. To stand in absolute darkness is to be incapacitated, for one cannot see where to go or what dangers one may encounter. A person does not know if the next step is leading them out of the cave or whether it will result in crashing into a rocky barrier or stepping into the abyss of a deep chasm. One can only stand still until light is brought.

While physical darkness can be debilitating, spiritual darkness is terrifying. Apart from Christ, we live in a world of spiritual darkness, groping about, hoping to discover some clarity and perspective. While physical darkness keeps us from making decisions regarding direction, spiritual darkness leaves us blind to moral and spiritual choices. It turns our spiritual world upside down where wrong becomes right, and right becomes wrong. In the end, we grope about trying to find purpose and meaning in life. We become unable to determine any ethical direction.

Even though John testified of the coming of Jesus as the light of the world, when Jesus arrived, people failed to see. There are two ways we remain in darkness. One is to have no light to penetrate the darkness; the other is to close our eyes so that we cannot see even when there is light. The greatest tragedy is that when Jesus arrived, bringing spiritual light to a sin-marred world, people shut their eyes instead of embracing the light. As a result, they did not receive him.

When a person has been in darkness for an extended period, the sudden appearance of light can have a searing effect. The same is true spiritually. When we have lived in the darkness of sin, the light of Christ’s righteousness seems stabbing and uncomfortable. We label the morality of the Bible and the message of salvation as old-fashioned, archaic, and even harmful. So, we shut our eyes and turned from the truth. The result is that we fall headlong into the abyss of sin, unaware that we are falling to our destruction. Even though the hope of Christ is offered to all people, in our desire to remain independent of God and embrace our morality, we reject the hope of the light by closing our spiritual eyes. We would rather grope about in our darkness than embrace the life-giving light of Christ.

But it is not hopeless. There is still the opportunity to embrace the salvation that Christ offers. But salvation is not just adopting a moral ideology. It is embracing a person and the salvation he offers. It is to surrender our life to him and be spiritually and internally be changed to a new life and a new way of living. Not only do we discover light to see clearly, but we are also given a whole new identity, in which we are now children of God. So, if you find yourself struggling to make sense of your life and the world in which we live, if you are struggling to understand what is right in a morally chaotic and confusing world, the answer starts by accepting Christ and living in light of His guidance and direction.

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