Jesus came into a world that seemingly plunged into divine darkness. The last words heard from God were hundreds of years prior. The Pharisees thought they might change that by forcing the priestly cleanliness codes on the masses. How would God reveal himself, much less come, to an unholy and unclean people? The Pharisees believed the people needed a hard dose of truth and strict regulation. Then they would hear from God. Then Messiah would come.
And he did.
And they missed him…even denied him.
As John said in his prologue,
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not understood it.”John 1:4-5
But there were those who did indeed see his glory…and understand it/Him. As John says 9 verses later,
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”John 1:14
The key to seeing Jesus and his glory is to see him through both truth and grace. The Pharisees thought it would be truth that led to holiness that would usher in the Christ. But they missed the grace…so they missed the Christ.
I don’t know if word order matters any but for whatever reason John put the word grace before he put the word truth. Just something to think about. Maybe it is not that truth is less important than grace but because it is hard to know the truth until you experience and give grace.
Jesus and Paul both linked Jesus as the light to us as the light. Let’s start with Jesus,
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matt 5:14-16
When we shine the light we receive from Jesus into the world, God is glorified! Or how about what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians,
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”2 Cor 4:6
Here we see more directly that any light that is in us is in us because of Jesus. I cannot help but go back to what John wrote in John 1:1 that Jesus was the Word/Logos. In the Old Testament it is the is the Word that is the lamp to our feet and light to our path (Psalm 119:105).
Let us all appreciate Jesus for being the light and bringing the light. He brought the light into the world and in doing so imparted that light to each and everyone of us who are the children of God so that we may bring God glory (Matt 5) and that we might display the knowledge of God to a world that is all too familiar with darkness (2 Cor 4).
May God richly bless you this Christmas! Thanks for reading Wineskins. Love you all,