Life and Light

December 17, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Posted in John | 10 Comments
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The Gospel of John is not included in the “synoptic Gospels” (Matthew, Mark, Luke), because the first three Gospels offer similar views of the life of Jesus, syn meaning same, and optic meaning view. The synoptic Gospels offer similar views of the life of Jesus with slightly varying looks at His birth and different emphases, but much of the same material on the earthly ministry which took place during the last three and a half years of His earthly life. The first three Gospels emphasize EVENTS; John emphasizes MEANING.

Most scholars believe the main theme of the Book of John is:

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

John 20:31

The Gospel of John was written by the Holy Spirit through the human agency of the Disciple John, who is commonly referred to as “the Disciple that Jesus loved”or “the beloved Disciple”(John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). Neither its design, nor its intent, is hidden. John wanted to convince or persuade people – both Jews and gentiles – that Jesus was the eternal Son of God Who came in a body of flesh to accomplish salvation for human sinners. In order to do this he bypassed the details of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem, His childhood in Nazareth, and His earthly genealogy. He introduces Jesus with the Divine title of “the Word” (the Logos).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1

The “Word” to Greek philosophers would have meant the underlying principle of creation, existence, and the holding-together of the universe. John specified that this Word is both WITH God and, in fact, IS God at the same time. This is a uniquely Christian, Biblical concept: one God – in multiple persons; one essence, but different persons with different eternal functions; distinct but inseparable.

The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 1:2-3

The Word is the basis of all life and the illumination of all knowledge.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

John 1:4-5

Compare the creation narrative in Genesis 1.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

Genesis 1:1-5

The parallelism in John 1 and the identification of “the Word” combined with “God said” lets us know that Jesus was there at the beginning, creating the world, light, and life. The Incarnation of the Son of God is the “second act” of God’s creation of life out of His own nature and light out of darkness. Physical darkness can not coexist with physical light in the same location. Spiritual darkness can not “comprehend” spiritual light. It lacks the ability to create light or to continue in its own condition while light shines into it. Light changes darkness.

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