“In him was life, and that life was the light of men.”
Life is one of the great themes of John’s Gospel. He introduces it here, and draws to an end with the grand statement,
“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)
Jesus Himself uses the term frequently, including
- “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” (John 5:39-40)
- “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
- “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
- “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
John is referring to more than mere existence, and to far more than any life that is known to us in our present state. He is also indicating that this life is the very opposite of destruction, condemnation, despair and death – none of which shall have any part of it. The Revelation affirms this,
“There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Instead, the Life which is Jesus is the very Life of God Himself. It is eternal, it is glorious, it is uncontaminated, it is creative and it is full of the love, beauty and peace that is God. This is life such as we have never experienced and which is completely beyond the limits of our imaginations – and we are called and invited to become a part of it, commencing right now. Jesus is the only person who can reveal to us the true possibilities of this life and make our present lives worth living. Anything else is at best no more than a passing pleasure –and at worst a hopeless torment.
Our entrance into this life is by believing in Jesus Christ – as Saviour, Lord and Son of God. In fact, the word ‘to believe’ occurs some seventy times in John’s Gospel alone. This belief is not in a law, a philosophy or an accomplishment. It is a belief in the personal reality of Jesus Christ, the revelation and expression of the Love of God Himself. It is a belief that leads us to enter into a personal relationship with the Father, which is opened to us through Jesus and in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
To believe is to decide to put our hope and trust completely in Jesus Christ – and to accept the life that He opened to us through the Cross. It is to believe that He is the Son of God and our only Saviour and Lord. It is to entrust Him with our lives both now and forever, and to trust that the way forward is with Him as we seek to live our new lives in line with His teaching and His commands.
In Him, and in Him alone, is Life.
Say ‘Yes’ to Him (again), now. Read and treasure His Gospels. Live in His presence and love.
“Lord I believe, help my unbelief.’