Logos - The Light in Darkness

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 20, 2012 0 comments

One of the things that we know about Jesus from John 1, which Katie referenced in Monday's blog, is that he was "the true light that gives light to every man" (1:9). As Katie already pointed out, Jesus was referred to in this passage as the Logos, or the "Word". The concept of God being "light" is throughout the Bible, from beginning to end. In Genesis 1:3, God spoke light into existence. He did this 3 days before He created the sun, moon, and stars, and many thousands of years before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. So the only answer to the question of where did the light come from is God Himself. Later, in Exodus, God appears to Moses as a burning bush emitting light and heat, but not burning up (Exodus 3:2). There are many more examples, culminating with a description of heaven in Revelation 21 that includes the fact that it does not need the sun or the moon for light because it is illuminated by the "glory of God" (v. 23). All of these verses and many more point to God as our light, but it wasn't until Jesus was born that the "true light" became flesh. Up until that point, all flesh had become wicked and been overcome by darkness. In Jesus, however, came the light which darkness has not overcome (John 1:5).

You may be wondering why I am choosing to write about the relationship between darkness and the Logos. This article will be posted on Thursday, December 20, exactly one day before the shortest day of the year, as far as light is concerned. Another way of describing December 21 would be "the darkest day of the year". In addition, most of us know by now that December 21 of this particular year has been predicted by Mayan calendars to be the end of the world, even though Scripture is clear that "no one knows about that day or hour" (Matthew 24:36). Even the idea that the world may end has become a form of darkness for many, because it incites fear for those who worry about the end times. So, with the darkest day of the year approaching, maybe we should think about what kind of hope and assurance the arrival of the Logos gives us.

It is not actually possible to measure darkness, since it is not a thing unto itself. You may have heard before that "darkness" is really only a term to describe the absence of light, and it physically makes sense when you think about it. You can turn all the lights off and close the blinds to make a room completely dark, but if even one tiny beam of light enters that room, it literally overcomes the darkness and allows for at least a little bit of sight. On the contrary, you cannot insert darkness into a very well-illuminated area and think it's going to make a difference. Therefore, it is safe to say that true physical light always overcomes true physical darkness.

But what about darkness in the spiritual sense? After all, Jesus was not needed to be a physical light in the world, for the sun, moon, and stars had already existed for many years before he came in the flesh. What was needed was a spiritual light to illuminate the darkness caused by the hearts of men. The nation of God's people, Israel, had been overcome by their own "dark" choices and the consequences God allowed them to face. They spent generations mired in slavery, captivity, and their own waywardness. The very people who were called to shine God's light to all had become trapped by darkness. We can say the same for us today. Just last week, 20 innocent children and several more adults were gunned down at school in Connecticut because of the overwhelming darkness in one man's life. Many have blamed the government because "God has been forbidden in schools", but what about the sex crimes that have taken place in the Roman Catholic Church and most recently in a mega-church in Oklahoma? Jesus told Nicodemus that "light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). Guess what, friends? This has been true within the Church as much as outside of it.

The Lord challenged the Israelites in the Old Testament through the words of the prophet Isaiah. In Chapter 58, the Lord tells Isaiah to declare to His people how they have missed the point. He tells Isaiah that the people are practicing the ritual of fasting, expecting that doing so will earn them favor with God and access to His decisions. But there is a problem. While they are fasting every day, they are willfully continuing in their sinfulness. They think of themselves first and others second. They quarrel with one another. They exploit their workers. God is not pleased and even challenges them to use common sense and ask themselves why they would assume that this would be acceptable to God. Finally, the Lord calls them to action through Isaiah. "If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like noonday" (Isaiah 58:9b-10).

The challenge to the Israelites back then is the same challenge for us today. How do we, as the Church, live in such a way that we acknowledge that the Logos has come and brought light into our darkness? The answer is also the same. We must do away with divisions within the body, cease to oppress others in any way, and look to the needs of others above our own. The revelation of the Logos to us allows us to live in this way. And if we do, even the darkest day of the year will feel like joyous light, and the end of the world, no matter when it is, will be joyfully anticipated rather than feared. This is the hope and the light of Jesus, the Logos who overcame the darkness!