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Weekly Bible Study
“John summarizes what he's going to say”
by Hugh Davidson   
August 5th, 2007

John 1:6-9 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.”

The first eighteen verses of this book are known as the prologue and the purpose of a prologue is to lay a foundation for the reader to understand what the author intends to say and the authority he has to say it. And so, it’s like John is telling us, “Here’s my point, now watch carefully while I prove it.” And what he’s saying and intends to prove is that Jesus Christ is God who was born into this world and that He alone is the only provision that any of us can ever find for true salvation.

In the first five verses John describes Jesus as pre-existing prior to creation and that He was the creator. And plain and simple John says Jesus is God and he does this in the very first verse of the book and then he both concludes and sums up the entire purpose of his writing in John 20:31 where he says, “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.” And what he’s saying is that everyone both Jew and Gentile can be saved if they call upon the name of the Lord.

There are two verses which have the same message and they are verses 5 and then again in verse 9. Verse 5 says, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” And then verse 9 says, “That (meaning Jesus) was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” And both of these verses are telling us, that the people of this world are exposed to the light of this world which is Jesus but they can’t see it.

What does John mean when he calls Jesus the true light? In the Greek there are two words for true. One has to do with comparing a good one to a false while the other likens one to a partial or incomplete one. Imagine if you would that I held up two round coins and one was a nickel and the other was just a slug. Well, only a complete imbecile could possibly confuse the two. And the second word is like comparing a diamond ring to a cubic zirconium (man-made stone) and these might look similar but at the same time they’re different. And it’s the second word that John is using here. It isn’t that all the other lights in the world are completely wrong but they are incomplete. And what he’s telling us is, that Jesus is the ultimate standard while the rest are lacking in every respect. So, Jesus is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth and while others may appear similar in some respects but they always come short.

As we look at the world most of us recognize that it has partial truth. They see the problems but they don’t have any solutions. Every once in a while I listen to the interviews on CBC and I’d probably enjoy a good laugh if I wasn’t paying for them. They had a guy on one morning who had more letters behind his name than a can of alphabet soup and he said the moral problems of our society are rooted in our religious upbringing. And then he said that the restrictions placed on mankind have resulted in guilt and all the guilt has done is made us all miserable. So, the answer is for all of us to get rid everything that inhibits us and then each of us to have their own brand of morality as long as they respect the rights of others. As a friend of mine used to say, “These are people who were educated beyond their intelligence.”

I mean, look at the changes that have taken place in the last fifty years. In the sixties we had the hippie generation where all the young people were rebelling against their parent’s materialism and the slogan of the day was, “Drop out” and what they meant was to leave the world and all its phony values behind and go find yourself. Then came the new morality of the seventies and they not only rejected the previous generations values but they ditched their morals as well and their slogan was, “If it feels good do it.” Then the two words that summed up the eighties were aids and greed. They felt good, they did it and now they were paying for it. And then the nineties was the decade of self-esteem where everyone was into yoga or they belonged to a gym and basically, they fell in love with themselves all over again. And these days, it seems like everyone is right back where they started with people trying to find themselves but at least now they know they’re lost. The problem is, they looking for all the right answers in all the wrong places.

And the message of John is still the same for the people of today as it was for the people in his day and that’s that Jesus is what you’re looking for. He is the light and the one reason people don’t want anything to do with the light is because of what the light reveals.

I remember when my wife and I were first married. We rented an apartment in Toronto overlooking the Don Valley Parkway. This was our first home together and we were very excited. And since we were both working during the daytime we could only go looking for apartments in the evening and we were impressed with this one. It looked very well kept and attractive. The tenants had soft lighting, attractive pictures on the walls and simple but stylish furniture. The day we took possession I noticed there were large squares on the walls where the pictures had hung and the place that seemed so cozy in the evening was really very dirty in the daytime. Well, we got to work and cleaned and painted and when it was all finished we moved in. The first night I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water and when I turned on the light cockroaches ran everywhere. You see, light has a way of exposing things and when Jesus came into this world His perfection exposed men’s sinfulness and they hated Him for revealing how far short of God’s expectations they had fallen.

So, John tells us that Jesus is the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world and this tells us that every person on the face of the earth has some light and even if they don’t have a copy of God’s word they still have the testimonies of creation and their conscience so that they are without excuse when it comes to acknowledging the existence of God.

Leith Samuel wrote, “Many missionaries point out that the heathen know more than we think. They know there is a God and then he says there are also no atheists among heathen tribes. There has never been discovered upon the earth a tribe of people, however small or depraved, which has not believed in some kind of God or had some system of worship.” And what John is saying in this prologue is that Jesus is God and He’s the one the whole world is supposedly looking for.

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