January 26, 2022 – Wednesday
John 16:1-4 NIV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
John’s Gospel is different from Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the three synoptic gospels) in that his primary focus was to show who Jesus is – namely God. That is the purpose of verse one, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And if we are still not convinced, we simply move down to verse fourteen, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. And then eighteen, No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John goes farther when he writes, Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. That would include everything in Genesis. Still not sure, turn to what Paul wrote in Colossians 1:15-17 about Jesus, The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Jesus is not only the source of creation, He is the One still holding all things together.
Then we come to our verse with light in it, verse 4, In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The life in this verse is not simply biological life, but all life, Greek zoe, or as Strong’s Dictionary defines it: Life, both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. The HELPS Word-studies here adds this about zoe: life (physical and spiritual). All life (zōḗ), throughout the universe, is derived – i.e. it always (only) comes from and is sustained by God’s self-existent life. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life.
When we read In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind, the word for light is Greek phos. The word phos which we have seen before, and is defined by Strong’s Dictionary as light (68x KJV) and fire (2x KJV). More satisfactory is Vine’s Expository Dictionary which provides the following; Light requires an organ adapted for its reception. Where the eye is absent, or where it has become impaired from any cause, light is useless. Man, naturally, is incapable of receiving spiritual light inasmuch as he lacks the capacity for spiritual things. Hence believers are called ‘sons of light’ in Luke 16:8, not merely because they have received a revelation from God, but because in the New Birth they have received the spiritual capacity for it. This fits in well with what Guzik writes about the light in this verse, This life is the light of men, speaking of spiritual light as well as natural light. It isn’t that the Word “contains” life and light; He is life and light. herefore, without Jesus, we are dead and in darkness. We are lost. Significantly, man has an inborn fear towards both death and darkness. Repeating for emphasis, Jesus is life and light, without Him there is no life and no light.
Concerning the light of all mankind, the Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary states, All that in men which is true light—knowledge, integrity, intelligent, willing subjection to God, love to Him and to their fellow creatures, wisdom, purity, holy joy, rational happiness—all this “light of men” has its fountain in the essential original “life” of “the Word.” Other things masquerade as light, but true light is defined here and we can use this to help us ascertain if we are seeing true light or something else that is darkness.
Prayer: Father God, Your Son is the source and sustaining force of our lives and the light in our lives. Through Him we can see the difference between darkness and light in others the closer we adhere to Him. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton