Skeptics often ask, “If God so loves us” why then doesn’t he just show Himself? Why doesn’t he just remove the veil, dispel all doubt, and turn on the light for all the world to see? Friend, plainly speaking . . . He did.
The Bible makes it plain in John 1 that Jesus is that “light which lighteth every man which cometh into the world.” Titus 2:11 – “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
The problem is not that God has not turned on the light. He has turned on the light, and men have been trying to put it out ever since.
John records for us four things that did not happen the night the light came on in Judah.
I. The Darkness Seized It Not
– “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
The word for comprehend in the Greek language is the word, “katalambano” which means to seize, or grasp. Some Bible translations have notations that say to “overcome” meaning the darkness overcame it not. Whatever the intended meaning of John the point remains that the Light of Christ cannot be overpowered or be understood by the Darkness of Sin. I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about darkness in and of itself, but in order to see all that we can of the bright Light of Judah, we need to lay it against the backdrop dark night of the ages.
A. The Ageless Problem of Spiritual Darkness
There are essentially 3 general effects that Spiritual Darkness has plagued man with since sin crashed his party.
In spiritual darkness, man has become:
1.) Ignorant – Proverbs 4:19 – “The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.” The first effect of the veil of darkness that has fallen upon man is ignorance in the first degree. Apart from Jesus Christ, man doesn’t know what man doesn’t know! He is like the blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat at midnight. He has no idea about what he has no idea about. He has become Ignorant with a Capital GG
2.) Degenerate – Proverbs 2:11-14 “Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;” Because of darkness men can enjoy evil! – In man’s mind, what he can’t see, isn’t there, and if he sees no judgment, there are no consequences. Since he cannot see spiritual truths with his physical eyes, he believes that there are none, and that right and wrong can be defined as he chooses them to be. In so doing he has very often turned right into wrong, and wrong into right. We can see that plainly in the differences between what is often “legally” right, but “morally” wrong.
Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!”
3.) Desolate – Isaiah 59:9-10 – “Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. 10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. Jesus even used the term “outer darkness” to describe the conditions of hell. Man who has no light, has no hope Darkness keeps man from seeing what he needs, enables man to enjoy evil deeds, and stops man from knowing where sin leads. In one sense, Darkness is to the Mind, what morphine is to the body, it shuts down your sensors.
B. The Matchless Power of Spiritual Light
The language that John used said that when the light shined the darkness seized it not. Darkness is futile in the presence of light! The preacher said in Ecclesiastes, “Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.” As certain as night follows day, darkness flees light! Light is a glorious mystery! There are certain things about it that we can understand, and there are certain things about it, that this side of glory we will never understand.
Note some lessons of the Light:
#1 – The Light of Christ must be Received, it cannot be Reached – in other words, you can never “spiritually enlighten” yourself. All true spiritual light comes from Jesus Christ. “The light shineth in the darkness;” the darkness did not reach out for the light. Paul tells us in 1st Timothy 6:15-16 – “the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto . . .”
#2 – The Light of Christ will be Factual, it will not be Fraudulent – It will not lie, it will be truthful in every way.
James 1:17 – “ Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Sometimes when the light is dim, you may say something like, “the Light is playing tricks on me.” It’s not the light that is distorting your vision, it is the dark! Light never lies! C.S. Lewis said once, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.” The Psalmist declared in “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Psalms 36:9
#3 The Light of Christ gives Life, not Death
In verse 4 John wrote, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” What are the first recorded words of God in the Bible? “Let there be light!” Light comes before life! All living things on planet earth get their life from the light of the sun; even the things that live below the ground. If there is no light, then there is no oxygen, for by the process of photosynthesis is oxygen put into the air.
#4 The Light of Christ will Nullify the Darkness it does not Glorify it.
Colossians 1:12-13 – “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” Jesus said in John 12:46 – “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Darkness is powerless against light! There is not enough darkness in the universe to squelch the light of a household match.
Now the devil uses the darkness for lying to and decieving people. Do you know the only weapon that can stop a lie? A shotgun cannot stop a lie. An entire military cannot stop a lie. The only weapon that can stop a lie is the truth. When the light of Christ hits a lie of the devil, that lie is neutralized; your heart should be energized; and your fellowship with the Father stabilized. The night that the light came on in Judah, the Darkness of the Sin and the Devil could do nothing with it. They could not understand it, and the could not overtake it; the darkness of the devil is no match for the Light of the Lord.
II. The Depraved Perceived It Not
– “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.”
The problem in verse 5 is darkness, the problem here in verse 10 is blindness. When the light did shine, men didn’t have the sight to see it. If God did turn on the light in Judah on that first Christmas night, why then do men still not see it? Why does the world, not see the Light? Essentially for two reasons.
A. Willful Ignorance
Let me remind you of some scriptures that Paul wrote over in the book of Romans. Romans 1:19-20 – “That which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: . . . and a few verses later in verse 28, Paul said, “they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” The first reason that men cannot see the light of God in Jesus Christ is very simply they do not want to. Man is not indicted here because of his inability, he is indicted because of his unwillingness.
B. Skillful Wickedness
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 tells us that ” if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” In Acts 26:18, when Jesus gave charge to the Apostle Paul He underscored this problem when He outlined for Paul that the purpose of his new mission would be “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.” What God will give, the devil will take! When any man refuses sight from God, he chooses blindness from the devil.
III. The Disobedient Received It Not
It is one thing for a little boy to be afraid of the dark, and it’s another thing for a grown man to be afraid of the light. John wrote that, “He came unto his own, and his own received Him not!” – This is not darkness, this is not blindness, it is downright badness. The fact is that Israel was given this great and privileged light, yet they refused to live in it. Light has come into the world! The Bible says in Isaiah 9:2 “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
But the Bible also says, “this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:19-2
Lest we come to wrong conclusions, the reality is that God has turned on the Light for all the world to see. All the world either doesn’t want to see, or the devil is helping to “hide it under a bushel.”
Do you know what is really condemning of Israel? – No room in the inn.
Isaiah had prophesied “That He would come, and who He would be born to.” – A virgin, out of the house of Jesse.
Daniel had prophesied “when” He would be born, in Daniel 9:25 – from the commandment unto Messiah, would be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.
Micah prophesied to where He would be born, “Bethlehem Ephratah”.
The people of Israel, His Own, were told when, where, and to who, He would be born, and there was still no room in the inn. Now some will say, “they couldn’t have figured all of that out – they didn’t know then what we know now!” Oh?
– The Magi knew – they were watching and searching.
– Pagan King Herod knew – he was aware of the Magi’s search, and launched an infanticide in the region.
– Simeon knew
– Anna knew
The coming birth of Jesus Christ was not an “unknowable event” it was an “unwanted event.” Before Christ, many didn’t want it to happen, during the days of Christ, many slandered what did happen, and now in our days many want us to forget that it happened.
What is the conclusion of the matter? The Night the Light Came on In Judah, the Darkness Seized it Not, the Depraved Perceived it Not, the Disobedient Received it Not, but the Discerning would Leave it Not. Not only did we see the Magi, Simeon, and Anna, waiting anxiously for this child, we see at the close of our scipture a promise to those who are willing to see the Light!
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12
The word that John uses for “Power” is the word that means “authority or permission.” In other words to those who would receive Him; Those willing to see the light of God, are given permission to be the sons of God. The Psalmist wrote, “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”
Once the light came on in Judah, all who will receive it, will see it, and have permission to become a child of God through believing on the name of Jesus. Seeing Heaven’s Light in the earth’s dark is the fundamental change worth making.