John 1 Devotional
by Pastor Lawrence
The gospel of John is a book set apart from the other three gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke tend to look at the life of Jesus in a very similar way and are therefore called the synoptic gospels with “optic” mean to see, and the prefix “syn” meaning conjointly or together. That doesn’t mean that John contains a different gospel than the other or one that contradicts the rest but that he gives us a very unique perspective on the life of Christ. And one of the unique perspectives he provides is how he begins his gospel with an extended prologue proving the eternality and divinity of Christ. Referring to the Word or “the logos” in the Greek language, John is showing from the very beginning that Jesus is the first and last revelation of God; he is the essence of wisdom, life and light. He is the glorious radiance of the great God and is himself God made flesh.
Writing to Greek Gentiles, John is using language that they would be familiar with, for they themselves were already searching for the great principle of wisdom that brought order and beauty unto the world. John is thus writing to them about these very complex ideas but writing in the simplest of terms using the common Koine Greek instead of the classical Greek and describing very simple terms such as light and life and truth to point them to Christ. He tells us later on in his gospel that he has written this account in order that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of god, and that by believing we may have life in his name.
The truth that he reveals is that we are bereft of truth apart from Christ, that we are dead in our trespasses and are walking in darkness and are in desperate need of a savior. And the way he describes Jesus is as the light that shines in our darkness and the life that refutes our dreaded sentence of death.
Of course, not everyone welcomes more light into their lives, for it shows more clearly all the blemishes, it reveals all the corruption and puts a spotlight on all the filthiness of mind and heart that we are ashamed of ourselves. Therefore, when he came to his own people, the Jews, many did not receive him or believe in him out of fear and pride. What they did not understand about the gospel of Jesus is this: he not only exposes sin and confront the darkness and death in our lives, he also freely pours out upon humbled, repentant sinners grace upon grace to deal with the sin and to root it out. For although light naturally judges darkness, the full judgment is delayed until after the gospel has invaded and pervaded every inch of this world and Christ’s comes again to reign in the flesh.
In the meantime, the light and life of Christ will continue to intrude into our secret places, to expose what we have tried so hard to conceal and forget, but it will also continue to give us new life, abundant life and certain hope in the goodness and loving kindness of God our savior to heal us and to grow us and to keep us in His loving embrace.