“The light shines in the darkness,
but the darkness has not understood it”
In His earthly ministry Jesus was like a light in the darkness. He continues to shine into the world and through the lives of His faithful followers.
The Light is not fluttering feebly like a candle about to go out or a torch where its batteries are exhausted. The full Light of the fullness of Christ is shining from Him. It does not have to be cranked up to a higher pitch. The problem is the darkness.
The darkness into which this Light shines has not understood it. Alternative translations say that the darkness had not apprehended it, comprehended it, overcome it or put it out. In whatever way the darkness has failed to receive it or react to it the Light is still the same and is still present and shining.
We can sometimes identify those who dwell in the darkness of sin and despair and have failed to recognise and receive the Light. We may also discern that those who reject the Light and argue that it does not exist have failed to extinguish the Light. In both cases the Light shines on unimpaired.
What is not so easy for us to appreciate is that we ourselves have areas of darkness within us where we have not responded adequately to the Light – and been bathed in its healing and life-giving properties. Much of the world in which we live and the context in which we were raised has affected us more than we appreciate. This is one of the reasons why Jesus told us not to be so quickly critical of the speck we see in the eyes of others when we still have a whole plank in our own eyes!
It is important for us to hold on to the fact that the Light of Christ is fully available to those who seek Him and His fullness in their lives. No matter how thick or extensive the darkness may seem at times it will never extinguish or control that Light – for two reasons. One is that Christ Himself is the Light and He has conquered death and the powers of evil. The second is that Christ is God and will simply not allow it.
Therefore the first question for each one of us is whether and to what extent we are walking in the Light and/or in the darkness. We do not have to find the Light – He is there all the time, wanting and waiting to enter more fully into all the rooms and areas of our lives.
Wherever I am with God I could be much closer
Lord help me to draw closer to You so that You may draw closer to me. May I be more open to You every day. Shine Your Light into me Lord in new ways to illuminate and clear away the cobwebs and the areas of darkness. Amen.