The Light that Shines in the Darkness
Light of the World
Dec 1, 2019 | Matthew Cork
Matthew 2:1–14, 16, 19–20 ; John 1:4–5
Jesus is the light that overcomes the darkness. He can shine in the darkest of circumstances, including in your life. Can you let the light of Jesus in?
At times it can feel like we are living in an age of darkness. All it takes is turning on the news for 30 minutes to get that sense. There’s a lot going on in the world today, and not all of it is good.
But “darkness” is nothing new for the world. The time when Jesus first came to this earth was also a time of extreme darkness. Just listen to all that was going on in and around when the Apostle John wrote the gospel bearing his name:
- The Romans had built an empire based on violence and slavery.
- Israel was an enslaved nation.
- The Jews lived under a crazy emperor who launched the legions on Judea and Jerusalem.
- Unable to breach the city’s defenses, the Roman armies established a permanent camp just outside the city, digging a trench around the circumference of its walls and building a wall as high as the city walls.
- Anyone caught attempting to flee the city would be captured, crucified, and placed in lines on top of the dirt wall facing Jerusalem. As many as 500 crucifixions occurred in one day.
- For seven months, the people of Jerusalem were left to starve. Disease broke out.
- In August of AD 70, Titus breached the outer walls and the city fell.
- Josephus claims that 1,100,000 people were killed during the siege. 97,000 were captured and enslaved.
- The destruction of the temple marked the end of Old Testament Judaism.
- John lost friends and family members.
Yet it’s into this time of darkness, John writes about Jesus, and says something very significant about him: “ 4In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:4-5).
As we step into this Christmas season, we are reminded of the fact that Christmas is not a joyous time for everybody. There is a feeling of darkness that can be present in this season. But what John wrote 2,000 years ago is still as true today: Jesus is light. And that light shines in the darkness and cannot overcome it. As much as we try to make Christmas about other things, Christmas is about Jesus. Full stop. He is the light we need in this Christmas season, and our focus needs to always be on Him.