The Light of God in a Dark World

Bible Book: John  1 : 6-13
Subject: Light; The Light of the World; Salvation

The Light of God in a Dark World

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

John 1:6-13

“6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

There is an old joke regarding light in a church that perhaps is so old that some of you who are very young have never heard it. It is said that someone stood during a business meeting and made a motion that the church buy a new chandelier – which, as you know, is a very fancy light fixture. A man stood up to oppose the motion. When asked why he opposed the new chandelier, the man who clearly did not know what a chandelier was said, “I have three reasons why I oppose this motion. First, I oppose it because I don’t think anyone in our church can spell it. Second, I oppose it because clearly there is no one in this church who is trained to play a chandelier. Thirdly, I oppose it because what this church really need is better lighting.”

One thing is very clear in our world today, people need more spiritual light, especially at a time when we are facing a dark and deadly Coronavirus . There is only One who can bring that light and that is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. John tells us in our text today that Jesus Christ came as the Light of the World, but the people did not want the light. Sadly, the world tends to love the darkness. My prayer and hope is that these trying times will cause many to look for the only Light available when all the other lights have failed.

Right now many people feel like they are living in a dark, foreboding world. This is especially true of doctors, nurses and caregivers in nursing homes and assisted living centers. We pray for them, along with those in our military who are always in harms way and are now facing the danger of this virus as an additional enemy.

Right now people need the Light - the true Light that shines in the darkness. There are three attributes revealing that Jesus is God:

i. First, He is Life

Death could not hold Him.

ii. Secondly, He is Love.

There was no hatred in Him and His love reached out to all us who loved sin and rejected God.

iii. Thirdly, He is LIGHT.

John 1:5 tells us that, “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” In fact, we are told in the Book of Revelation that there will be no need for a lamp or artificial lighting in heaven for Jesus is the Light. He will be the only light we need. In 1 Timothy 6:1-6 we read that God dwells in an unapproachable light. What glory there must be in the very presence of God.

To be sure that is an absence of light in this world. Of course, I’m not speaking of the artificial light that we create. Any of you present who  have spent time in airplanes have seen the amazing nature of lights in cities below you as you pass over them at night. Large cities actually seem to glow as you fly over them on a clear night sky. Sadly, even those lights can’t stop the crime taking place every night in those cities, much less change the hearts of the people living there. Those lights can't give hope when an unseen disease is stalking the streets and alleys around us. We have a need for a light beyond that which we can produce. The greatest human need is divine light and that is only found in Christ.

As John penned his gospel account, he mentioned light 21 times in the 21 chapters that make up this book. So, you can see that this subject was critical to the thinking of John as he presented Christ in his gospel.

A teacher asked in class if anyone knew the reason that light travels so fast from the sun to the earth. One little boy replied, “That’s easy – it’s downhill all the way!”

Well, the Light of the World came downhill to arrive on this earth. He came from glory to this sinful world to reveal the truth in the full light of His person. I want us to consider three thoughts on this subject today.

I. Light Revealed

In the ancient days a herald went before an arriving king shouting, "Ho, the king cometh." In essence, that is what John the Baptist did regarding Jesus Christ. He was the forerunner. Now John the Baptist was a different man from John the Apostle who penned the Gospel we read from today. But John the Baptist was used of God to pull back the curtain so that the light of God in Christ was introduced to the world. It was John the Baptist who pointed to Jesus at the Jordan River and said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

As the Light revealed, we note three things about Jesus. First ...

A. The Man

Jesus came as a man, born of the virgin Mary in the tiny village of Bethlehem, but He was not revealed fully as the Redeemer and Savior until John the Baptist announced him to the public. John the Baptist was a man anointed for the purpose of introducing the Light of the World. He had to be an humble man to step back and place Jesus, who is the Light of the World, in the human light of day.

Listen carefully, you and I are never to become proud and arrogant in our Christian walk. Even if you speak before dozens or thousands, you are not the light – you only point to the Light. You may sing, lead ministries or hold positions of importance in the church, but you must never let that go to your head. He is the Head and we are His servants. John the Baptist was willing to take a step back in order to point to the One - and the only One - who could offer eternal life to the world.

Now, notice also ...

B. The Message

John the Baptist, just like all of us who are saved, had the privilege and duty of pointing people to Jesus. Sadly, very little evangelism takes place through the lives of most Christians today. We can talk endlessly about our children, our favorite sports teams, politics and other subjects, but we are hesitant to mention our love for Jesus. We fear we may appear to others as some kind of religious nut. That is exactly how Satan wants you to feel, for that silences the message of what God has done in your life. John the Baptist openly, gladly and loudly pointed the people to Jesus.

In this dark hour, point people to the Light who actually offers the light of hope in the dark hour of death.

Then, notice ...

C. The Motive

John the Baptist had a motive for turning heads and hearts to the Light of the World. That is why the Church exists. At Pentecost, the very first sermon preached by Peter was all about Jesus. Peter preached that message and turned the attention of the crowd from what they were experiencing due to the infilling of the Holy Spirit to the need the people had – a need that could only be met in turning to Jesus. The motive of John the Baptist was to turn heads and hearts to Christ. That must be the motive in the life of every true follower of Jesus.

Not only do we see in our text from John’s gospel that the Light was Revealed, but note also …

II. The Light Rejected

When Jesus came to this world, He was rejected and despised. That seems strange to us today, for we live in a land and time when even those who do not receive Christ as Savior at least for the most part respect Him and His followers. Why did the world reject the Savior who came to offer forgiveness, cleansing and eternal life to those who would trust Him? The people rejected Him then for the same reasons they reject Him today. They were comfortable in the darkness.

Note how this rejection took place.

A. Symbolized at His birth

Even in His birth, Jesus experienced brutal rejection. Yes, the Magi and the shepherds came to kneel before Him, but King Herod intended to kill him. He ordered that all male children under two years of age in Bethlehem be put to death. The attempt was made right from the start to snuff out the Light. Of course his effort was futile, for mankind can no more put out the light of Jesus. Herod’s attempt did not trouble God.

Man today tries to destroy the message and work of Jesus, but it doesn’t trouble God. Somewhere I read that a preached said, “You can’t make God nervous.” Scoff, ridicule, hate and threaten but you can’t blot out the Light of the World.

We see that the Light is ...

B. Sustained by His Life

Christ was rejected by the world, but that did not stop the Light from shinning. The life of Jesus maintains truth, hope and salvation for eternity. He was crucified but that did not put out the Light. He rose from the dead and shines forth the light of heaven for those willing to open their eyes to see. Every attempt of man from generation to generation to obscure the Light of the World has failed. You see, His light is sustained by His life. And that leads us to note that his light is ...

C. Secured by His Resurrection

When I turned by faith to received Jesus, He placed that light in me. I can’t lose it because I didn’t create it. The world can’t take it from me because the world didn’t give it to me. The devil can’t steal it because it is not within his reach. A virus can take my life but not my eternal life in Christ. I am in the hand of Jesus and Jesus in the hand of God, thus I have double indemnity – double protection - eternal security.

The risen Lord assures us that nothing can harm Him and nothing can ultimately destroy us. We, like Him, are the light of the world. We have resurrection light in us. He gave it to us though we didn’t deserve it. If I could earn, I could lose it, but the light He gave me is a gift rather an a human accomplishment. The risen Lord knocked the end out of the grave and let the eternal light of life shine through.

So, we see that the Light was revealed and the Light was rejected by the world. Now, note thirdly...

III. The Light Received

I received that Light and many of you listening to me today have done so as well. But, there are some who have turned inward toward the darkness and have rejected the Lord of Glory, the Light of the World. Just how can a person obtain, receive, and have the Light of Life – the Lord Jesus Christ – within?

A. The Right Given

John tells us that God gave those who turn by faith from sin to trust in Jesus are given the “right” to become the children of God. The word translated “right” is from the Greek word “exousia.” That word means the “legal” right rather than the power of right. If John had desired to show that we had the power within ourselves to obtain salvation, he would have used the Greek word “dunamis,” which speaks of strength or power - like dynamite. But no person has the power within to receive Christ. It is God who gives us that right - that legal authority of heaven - to accept the Son of God as Lord and Savior.

Look at it like this - we are no match for the power of sin that dwells within us. We cannot overcome with muscle or personal force the evil heart that occupies our nature. Only the Lord can defeat sin and grant us the “right” to become children of the most high God. That is what John is telling us in this passage. Through Christ, God gave us the “right” to become and to be called the children of God. What an honor has been bestowed on those who trust Jesus for salvation. Someone listening to me right now needs to realize that God has given you the legal right to turn from your sin and to trust Jesus as your Savior. If you are willing to accept Christ, the devil can't stop you.

Note also ...

B. The Reward Granted

What is the reward that John mentions? We are given the right to be become the “children of God.” Imagine a couple going before a judge to adopt a child. That couple must show that they have the means of caring for all the needs of that child in order to obtain the authority to adopt that child. A proper home, a decent education, an appropriate moral atmosphere and other things must be shown to be available. Dear friend, when God sent His Son to this world for your redemption and mine, He provided a salvation that is full and complete, lacking nothing. All you need Jesus supplied.

In essence, when a child is adopted into a family that child is rewarded with all that the family has. He or she is an heir to the family treasure. That is exactly what God has done for us in Christ. He has adopted us into His family, and we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. All He has is ours in Him.

Why would anyone reject this Light? The darkness of the heart turns away from the Light of the World. But, you can be saved. You can come into the Light of God’s grace. God has made it legally right for you to do so by providing all that you need. In fact, you bring nothing when you come to Him for salvation. As the songwriter penned:

"Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to the cross I cling."

But, notice one more thing in this regard ...

C. The Regeneration Generated

A person must turn from sin and trust Christ, when that happens God regenerates that person. Let me explain it like this. A man went to a repairman with a defective gun. The gunsmith said, “Sir, all you need is a new barrel, a new stock, a new trigger and a new frame.” The customer replied, “Well, my goodness, that sounds like a need a new gun.” The gunsmith said, “Exactly, your old one is a piece of junk.”

That is exactly what we are without redemption – without regeneration. God doesn't do a make-over on us, He generates a do-over. He regenerates us into a new life - it is called in John 3 the new birth. We don’t need a new part; we need a new life. We don’t need reformation; we need regeneration, and that is exactly what Jesus came to provide.


There is the story of man who was dying. He was slipping away slowly when He sat up and said, “It’s getting dark. It’s getting very dark." Then, in his somewhat confused state he said, "Someone, please turn on the light so I can see how to die.” In a moment he was gone.

The only way to see how to die properly is to have the Light of the World in your heart before that hour comes to you. The world rejected Him when He came, but to those who received Him, He gave the authority – the right - to become the children of God. You can experience that right here - right now. Turn to the Light today - open your heart to Jesus.