November 20 – Incarnation Mystery: LIGHT!

November 20, 2019 Randy Bushey

~ by Randy Bushey

In Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it (John 1:4,5).

What is light?

Your answer to that question may depend on your perspective.

To the physicist, light is electromagnetic radiation.

To the miner, light is the needed energy to pierce the inky darkness of an underground cavern.

To the cataract patient, light is intensely focused amplified radiation needed for laser surgery which reduces the trauma and recovery time.

To Albert Einstein, light was a unique factor of precise constancy. He argued that everything in the universe is in motion, and all knowledge is a matter of perspective; that the speed of light (at 186,000 miles per second) is the only physical constant by which we can measure space, time, physical mass.

And as every parent (or grandparent!) knows, light is that which gives comfort and security to a child at bedtime.

Again, depending on one’s perspective, light can be the source of energy; it can create art; and it can contribute to that which is unwanted in the form of “light pollution”.

But to John the Apostle, light appears to be an obsession. He referenced light in his writings more than any other New Testament writer.

And it clearly had an ethnic/historic dimension for him in the worship of God.

The first value judgement of God in the Genesis narrative: God saw that the light was good. Interestingly, God created light on day 1 of creation, and the sun, moon and stars not until Day 4.

To the Hebrews in the Old Testament, light was closely associated with the glory of God, what Jews called the shekinah. It was a word that meant to settle, inhabit or dwell. The bright shekinah cloud represented the intense and proximate presence of God.

And the ancient Hebrew blessing appealed for God’s face to shine upon you (Numbers 6:25).

Consequently for John, light was a perfect metaphor for Jesus, the Living Word (logos) of God.

He uses light 7 times as he describes Christ in the early verses of John 1.

Light projected Jesus as the personification of these 3 qualities in the original and ultimate sense: goodness, beauty and truth.

The Sermon on the mount epitomized goodness together with righteousness and justice.

Jesus’ many miracles of healing restored beauty where sinister leprosy or appalling blindness had obliterated hope for the victim.

And in His teaching, light symbolized truth (But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light – John 3:21).

Takeaway: as we more accurately understand Jesus – to know Him with our minds and to love Him with our hearts – may we reflect the light of His glory in living lives of goodness, beauty and truth.

~graphic by diritter on