The Light of Men, John 1:4-9

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:4-5.

Christ is both author and sustainer of physical life and the source of eternal life; and it is His life as lived before men that reveals God, giving us the light that brings eternal life.

“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” 1 John 5:11-12.

Jesus came as a light into this world to lead men who were stumbling about in the darkness and drew them to Himself. He showed mankind the face of God, the way to life eternal and a present abundant life.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12.

The phrase “he who follows Me”, is a very real promise. The intent is that one is to practice the presence of Christ in their life through prayer, reading of Scripture, and fellowship with other Christians.

By following Him in this manner we are assured of walking in the light. To step out of the light or never to accept Christ puts us squarely in the world’s darkness wherein Satan dwells.

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11.

“And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it [overcome it].” John 1:5.

When they came to arrest the Lord, Scripture says this.

“Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, ‘Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.’” Luke 22:52-53.

However, the darkness did not overcome the light of Christ, it only made it all the brighter.

“But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.’” Matthew 28:5-6.

“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” John 1:6.

“There was a man sent from God…” there is a man, a woman, even a child, sent from God; Jesus tells us this.

“Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.” Matthew 11:11.

A child, there is the account of a father and son who would go out on Sunday afternoons and hand out gospel tracts, but one day it was raining and the father decided not to go out. The son felt strongly that he should at least try, so he took a tract to a home nearby rang the doorbell, gave it to the woman who answered and went home.

Later on, upon seeing the woman, she told him that when he rang the doorbell she was about to hang herself out of despair; instead when she read the tract, she accepted Christ as her savior and embraced eternal life.

A woman, Amy Carmichael was an Irishwoman who always wished that she had not been born with brown eyes. In spite of poor health, she went as a missionary to India where she rescued many children from perilous lives and cult prostitution.

She was able to enter the Hindu temple and see child cult prostitution firsthand by dyeing her skin brown, wearing a sari, and with her brown eyes, she went where westerners were forbidden.

Having witnessed young children being sold as prostitutes by Hindu priests who were profiting from the children’s misery by acting as common pimps under the guise of religion she was able to petition the British authorities to stop the practice.

Amy served God in India for 55 years and established Dohnavur Fellowship where over a thousand children were rescued from lives of misery. She died in 1951 at the age of 83, never having left India for Ireland again.

A man, William Tyndale (1490-1536), even though John Wycliffe had translated the English Bible from the Latin, William Tyndale believed that it should be translated from the languages in which it was originally written.

To accomplish this Tyndale immersed himself in the languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Greek, and also five others, Latin, Italian, Spanish, French, and English. So fluent was he in these languages that it was said that he could speak to you in any one of them, and you would believe that it was his native tongue.

He almost singlehandedly translated the entire New Testament and half of the Old Testament in his lifetime, leaving copious notes for his associates to finish the task after his death. This account taken from, “Bible Doctrines for Today”, by Michael C. Bere, second edition, page 181; published by, A Beka Book.

A man, a woman, or a child, sent from God, no super-Christian talent necessary, just a willing heart; or as one person said it, “Little is much when God is in it.”

“This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man who comes into the world.” John 1:7-9.

Later in John chapter one, we will examine an account of John’s testimony which is shown below for your information.

“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, “After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.”  I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.’ And John bore witness, saying, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.’” John 1:29-34.

“That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:9.

It is difficult to believe the following, “…the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” I say this because it is easy to look into darkest central Africa or South America where no Christian has gone, and say, “See, how can they know and be held accountable?”

The natural man has to say this, and we all think it sometimes. But the question becomes, do you trust your perceptions, or the word of God?

One of Japan’s greatest missionaries was a man named Neesima who became disillusioned with idol worship in Japan as a boy and longed to know the true God.

Neesima was able to obtain a Chinese version of the Bible and with the things he learned there and with a map of America, he had a great desire to come to America.

Around 1864 at about the age of 21, he stowed away on an American ship bound for Hong Kong and thence gaining passage on another ship to Boston, Neesima was able to come to the United States.

God brought him in contact with Christians who led him to Christ and put him through Christian seminary. He then became an interpreter for men in government who wished to deal with the Japanese authorities. These things led to his return to Japan and ministering Christ to his own people.

Missionaries have gone into areas where the name of Christ is unknown, and after preaching the gospel, folks would come to them and say, “We knew there was something like this, but we just never knew what.”

“… (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)…” Romans 2:13-15.

Those who have never heard of Christ will be judged by the light that they had. Those who, though poorly, know that idolatry is wrong are going to long for something better and God will draw near to them.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8.

Those who are repulsed by human sacrifice, pedophilia, and other abominations practiced by idolatrous societies, will seek something more. And the God of heaven will give them more. But there will be punishment for those who practice these things, for they know better.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…” Romans 1:18-20.

The Light of Men taken from posted on 5-18-12, updated on 5-19-17.

Scripture taken from the New King James version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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