Remember how they began “Raiders of the Lost Ark”? The huge ball? Bam! Hold on to your seats, folks, this isn’t “The Sound of Music.” John opened his book about Jesus like that. Bam! He said, “Jesus is God and always has been, even back at the beginning of everything.” Before you can recover from that, he says, “Jesus created everything that exists.” And then, having loosened us up with those wild declarations, this:
In him was life,.. (John 1:4a)
Maybe you are thinking, “Well, duh, I’m alive, too and just about everybody else I know.” But John didn’t say Jesus was alive but that He had life in Him. A different kind of life, but one we all were designed to have. So, what kind of life and light is John talking about?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. (John 6:6a)
In Him was Spiritual Life, the life of God’s Spirit. God warned Adam, In the Garden of Eden, not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He said, “…for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17b) But when Adam and Eve ate from that tree, their bodies and minds (or souls) did not die. What died was their intimate connection with God, the connection that is made possible through His Spirit. Without that Spirit, mankind was spiritually dead, disconnected from God and living in darkness.
But when Jesus came, He had the Spirit; “…in Him was life…” Which would be of no importance to us, except for what John wrote next:
In him was life, and the life was the light of men. (John 1:4)
Jesus came with the Spirit, to bring us life and light. Without the Spirit of God, we live in darkness, a kind of spiritual blindness.
The light shines in the darkness… (John 1:5a)
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. (John 1:9)
Something is missing from our human existence and experience. We sense that lack, that emptiness. What’s missing is God’s Spirit, from Whom comes true, full life and light. Jesus came to give us this Spirit. But, how can we get it; how can we receive this life and light?
More on that next time.