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Who is this Light? Who is the Word?


1. John 1:1-18, The Incarnation of God


Explanation:

The author, John, does not address the linage of Jesus, but rather speaks directly to the deity, glory, and oneness of the God-head. John does not shy away from declaring God as the maker and sustainer of all things since before the creation of the world. He assuredly pronounces God as the Light of Life to be seen from the beginning. Allegorically, having the physical property of light, the light cannot be put out by darkness. The only way the Light of God would be unseen is if it had gone away on its own. John the Baptist knew of this Light. He set out to prepare the world for it even as they would reject the Light.


As ridiculous as it is to ignore the physical light on the Earth simply turning away or closing one’s eyes. When Jesus came, many tried to ignore His Light. Those who were looking for Him knew He would someday come, even as it was declared by John the Baptist. They could not accept that Jesus was the Light that was promised from long ago. Perhaps He did not fulfil their image of a savior. Even as John proclaimed the Light was unique to only the “Son of the Father” (ESV V. 14), those who He came to save often rejected Him even as He walked and dwelt among them. But those who gazed upon Him, and believed, were given the right to become children of the living God according to His will.


The deity of God is explained by His creating and sustaining of life; His oneness (Trinity) as being One in and with the same authority; and the glory is described as the Light which is full of grace and truth. Here lies the crux of the passage written in verses 16-18. The fullness of God is poured out as “grace upon grace” to abolish the law and make a way by grace through Jesus Christ. Only the true God, Jesus Christ, could have received grace and given grace in this manner to fulfill the law. Ignoring the Light does not abolish the grace of God, it simply ignores truth. The Light is still there just as it has always been. God is still God and His deity, glory and oneness are still apparent.


Application: The Gospel is His Word of Grace for Us


John does well to remind us of the gospel from the beginning of his writing. A few years ago, I decided that looking at the whole text of the Bible considering the gospel was the best way to continue to learn how it all fit together. I think those who rejected Jesus while He lived among them in the flesh, may have forgotten the wonder of the promises written in the Old Testament. They may have been looking for a man-defined glory or light that Jesus did not emulate. For me, I often wonder if I would have believed in that time as I do now. I cannot speculate, but as John wrote in verse 17, only be glad in the double portion of grace we have in the fullness of Christ Jesus: grace to fulfill the Law, grace to sustain life beyond the grave! Grace that is greater than our sin.


It is the lavish gift of grace He promised us from the beginning that I cannot seem to ignore as I go about my usual day. A double portion of grace is found in that God sent His Son, and in turn, grace paid for our sin even after He lived on Earth and had seen our condition. Who does that? I mean, would you offer your life for the greater good of this sinful and atrocious world? I would not, but God did even as He was rejected.

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