Our western world has an insatiable quest for knowledge. We are on a serious search to understand all facets of the world in which we live. We search the heavens, to understand our universe and we seek to understand our human bodies, and why disease strikes and why our bodies deteriorate. If God created us perfect, and made us in His image, where does disease come from?

Scattered through the deserts and the high mesas of New Mexico are huge satellite dishes. They are pointed in various directions of the sky. These are part of a quest for information that may come from our universe, including searching for other forms of human life that may be “out there.” This program is called SETI meaning, “Search for extraterrestrial intelligence.” Science believes that if indeed there is intelligent life out there, they must be trying to communicate.

Does God exist? Has He attempted to communicate with us? If so, what does He have to say? “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came into being through Him and apart from Him nothing came into being that came into being. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [overcome] it.” [1 John 1:1-5]

What does John mean when he says, “In the beginning was the WORD, the WORD was with God and the WORD was God?” He is referring to Jesus who is “THE WORD OF GOD…”? Words reveal expression and intent. Jesus, as the WORD of God, is the expression of God, indeed, the very God who made all things. So, there has been a voice from heaven, and it did not come via satellite. It came via Jesus. When you see an expensive watch [Rolex] or a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, you understand that behind what you see, was a creator. Someone made it. So, the Psalmist says, “The heavens declare the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands”. [Psalm 19:1]

Back to the Gospel of John, he says in verse 4, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” Jesus not only created the heavens, and all that is seen and observable, but He is life, and that light produces life. John starts his Gospel with light [verse  4] and ends his book with light. [John 20:30] The word “life” appears 35 times in this book. The word “light” appears 21 times. “I am the way, the truth and the life…”. “You are unwilling to come to me that you may have life.” [John 5:40] “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” [John 10:28] “The thief comes to steal and destroy but I have come that they may have life…”. [John 10:10]

What is the “life” that He is talking about? We know from reading Genesis 2:7 that God created us from “dust.” He then stooped and breathed His breath into this “dust,” and He gave us life. But, the life He is referring to in John is more than physical life. He is referring to eternal life, His own eternal nature. This life that he refers to in John 1:4 produces three things:
l. It saves me from the destructive power of sin.
2. Through this life that He gives, I share His life, which is eternal.
3. Since this life comes from God His qualities begin to grow in my life.
John then carries this truth one step further. He says, “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend [overpower] it.”

Darkness is a powerful thing. In my earlier years, I spent several summers on lookout towers as a fire observer. I was far from any light pollution, so when the sun set, darkness would appear. Total darkness can be intimidating. The darkness here referred to is the darkness of ignorance, especially spiritual ignorance. The birth of Jesus began to pierce that darkness that had enveloped the human race from the beginning of time. Was there “darkness” in God’s original creation? Genesis 1: 31 says, “And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…”. There was no darkness in Eden, God’s gift to Adam and Eve. God Himself came to the garden to have conversation with His creation. Darkness came in Genesis 3, when Lucifer came to the garden. In his wake, he left chaos. That chaos is recorded in Genesis 3:24; “So He [God] drove man out and at the east of the garden He stationed the Cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction, to guard the way to the garden.”

It is into this darkness that “light” came. The pathway to God was opened and we could find light that would lead us out of darkness. That life that He gave turned on a light that exposed the darkness. The darkness that was around me could not extinguish the light. Phillips’ translation of this verse is, “The light still shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.”

This truth was illustrated to me in one of my trips to West Africa. I could see such comparison between light and darkness. Their churches were so humble; they were mud brick with thatched roofs and dirt floors. But the people who gathered in those humble places had found the “light.” The villages were physically dark. There was no electricity. But there was also total spiritual darkness. I could feel its effect that was literally in the air that I breathed. But, there were those who had found “light” and in finding the “light,” they also found life. Their circumstances were still humble village life, but they had found the giver of eternal life and the light to bring them out of darkness.

In these next weeks, we observe what many call “Lent,” the days of mourning that lead us to Easter. Easter is a day of celebration, celebrating the fact that light has overcome darkness. In these days it is good for us to understand “The WORD” that has come into the world to show us the way back to God and give us light and offers to us life, the very life of God Himself.

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