There is an amazing symmetry in the Bible. One of my favorite examples is how the author of Genesis and the apostle John each begin their respective accounts, “In the beginning.” Good place to start, the beginning. And each writer jumps right in to deal with a theme that has fascinated us since the beginning, light and dark; good and evil; life and death. That theme has been at the core of some of our finest works of fiction, from the earliest stories told around campfires to today’s multi-million dollar, special effects laden blockbuster movies. And it’s a theme we each deal with in our own lives, the choice between light and dark, good and evil.
The author of Genesis hints at an outcome, God calling the light “good” and separating the light from the darkness. John’s foreshadowing is a little heavier handed. The light springs from the life that resides in the Word. (Later in the account John equates the light with the Word.) In verse 5 John gives us a big hint as to how this whole light vs. dark thing is going to end, “the darkness did not comprehend it (the Light).”
The Greek word translated here as “comprehend” is “katalambano”. It can mean both understand and overpower or seize or master. In these few verses we have the setting for the ultimate story of light and dark, good and evil. And we get an inkling of how it will be resolved. The Light will not be understood or overtaken by the dark.
And yet there are those who prefer the dark. Jesus discussed this with Nicodemus, who ironically chose to visit Jesus under the cover of darkness. Jesus explained that men who do evil (which would be just about everyone ever born) prefer the darkness so that their deeds will not be exposed.
In the Gospel of Matthew we read of Jesus passing this light on to us, as He declares us to be “the light of the world,” and warns us against trying to hide that light. Instead, He instructs, we are to let that light shine in such a way as to demonstrate our good works so that God will be glorified.
During Middays Prayer Time this week I’ll be sharing from these passages about light, around 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM.
Mon 01/06 Genesis 1:1 – 5
Tue 01/07 John 1:1 – 5
Wed 01/08 John 1:6 – 9
Thu 01/09 John 3:19 – 21
Fri 01/10 Matthew 13 – 16
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