(Guest post by: Michelle Hobbs)
I was walking in the main hallway of a nursing home recently, heading to see one of my patients. A gentleman stopped me at the bulletin board and asked me to read to him the riddle posted there. It said, “The more you have of this, the less you can see.” Can you guess the answer?
Darkness. I found that riddle to be profound, and I’ve thought of it several times since then. It reminded me of the following scripture:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. John 1: 1 – 5 (NKJV)
John 1: 1-5 is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I love verse 5 in particular. I recently became intrigued by all the different translations of this verse and discovered something that you need to hear too. Here are a few translations:
CSB That light shines in the darkness, yet the darkness did not overcome it.
ESV The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
NIV The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
NET And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
NLT The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
When John says, “the light”, he is referring to Jesus. Jesus calls himself “the light of the world” in John 8:12. Those of us who believe in Jesus and follow Him are also to be light in our world. John 12:36 says, “Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”
The darkness is the world of evil, unbelief, sin, misery, death, and judgement.
Now, I used to read this verse and think, yep, the darkness does not understand the light. I get it. Those who are not yet saved don’t understand those who are. They don’t understand the gospel or the scripture on their own.
But… NO, NO, NO! That’s not all! It’s so much more exciting and massive than that!!!
Did you notice, in the various translations above, all the different words used at the end of the verse?
- did not overcome
- has not understood
- has not mastered
- can never extinguish
- comprehended it not
You see, there is this battle between light and darkness. The darkness wants to overcome, master, extinguish the light, but the darkness was not able to do those things!
One commentary states, “The darkness did not hem it in, oppress it; it was invincible before it.” The light was invincible before the darkness!
The darkness did not, will not, cannot overcome the light! The light always wins! Friends, if you are struggling with some dark stuff in your life right now, concentrate on this fact.
Lilias Trotter tells us, “Believe in the darkness what you have seen in the light.”
Just think about when you were a little kid or when your electricity has gone out and you were left in a dark room. The complete darkness is scary! You can’t see anything, and the “what ifs” come creeping into your mind. But just a tiny bit of light from a little night light or a candle drives the darkness out of the room. That tiny bit of light takes over and allows us to see more clearly.
So verse 5 is saying, that Jesus, the light of the world, has entered into the darkness of evil, unbelief, sin, misery, death, and judgement; and this darkness did not overcome Him. When you believe in Jesus, you leave the defeated darkness and enter the victorious light. Ephesians 5:8 says, “Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light”.
The light always wins! Jesus has triumphed! All who believe in Him, the children of the light, will triumph.
There is a whole lot of darkness in our world today. Someone out there needs to hear this great news and be invited into the light! Go tell and show them about Jesus.
SO WHAT IS YOUR RESPONSE?
= Did this post help you understand anything better?
= In what ways can you be the light to those around you?
= Which Bible verse stuck out to you the most?