Eternal Creator of Life and Light
In Christ we find all we need.
The condition of our hearts requires reconciliation to God and daily help to grow in our faith. As faulty humans, we often look for solutions through a multitude of self-initiated efforts and achievements. If you need an illustration of this reality, just look at the latest bestselling book list.
Our Christian faith operates in an opposite direction from this impulse. The Gospel of John is a great book to anchor the place from which we truly derive our help. It points us to Jesus, the Author, Sustainer, and Finisher of our faith. If we need help or healing, we should look only to Him. In his book The Radical Disciple, John Stott wrote, “Nothing is more important for Christian discipleship than a fresh, clear, true vision of the authentic Jesus.” In Jesus, we will find all we need. Take a moment, open your Bible, and read John 1:1-5.
In these sweeping words we’re given a revelation of Jesus’ character, nature, and work. He is who we need.
Jesus is the God of eternity. The Gospel writer makes the bold claim that Jesus is divine. He isn’t saying that Jesus is like God or has some God-like characteristics. He is God. Jesus preexisted our universe. John used the term Word to refer to Jesus and triggered two philosophical concepts. To the Greeks, the term logos was considered to be the defining principle related to ordering the entire cosmos. To the Hebrews, the companion idea in their language, dabar, related to God’s active power of ordering life. John makes the revolutionary claim that Jesus was God, was with God in the form of the Trinity, and is essentially divine.
Jesus is the Creator of the universe. Psalm 33:6 states, “The heavens were made by the word of the LORD, and all the stars, by the breath of his mouth.” As Jesus was active in creation, it positions Him as Lord. We need to be reminded that these two ideas about God are intrinsically linked. Because He has created all things, He is the authority over all things … including us.
Jesus is the Source of all life. Throughout his Gospel account, John consistently shows that Jesus gives us life. Jesus does so physically as the Creator and does so spiritually as the Savior. Some of the reference points in John’s Gospel that point to our spiritual source of life in Jesus are John 3:16; 5:40; 6:51; 10:10, 28; 11:25; and 14:6. While we’re spending energy looking for life and its meaning, Jesus has already provided for both.
Jesus is the Light in the darkness. The imagery of light is attached to God throughout the Bible. John’s Gospel helps us to see it as a particular description of Jesus. It’s a common idea for us. When we don’t know something, we’re “in the dark about it.” When we’re hoping to achieve against all odds, we’re “taking a shot in the dark.” The Bible uses darkness as a reminder that we live in a world estranged from God, spiritually ignorant and blind, fallen and sinful, and dominated by Satan’s schemes. In Isaiah 9:2, the prophet declared, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness.” Jesus fulfills this prophecy. He’s greater than the Law, Wisdom Literature, and the Prophets. The darkness can’t fully understand Him. It can’t overcome Him. He conquers it completely.
The proclamation of Jesus’ identity has three results for us. First, His authority is asserted in our lives. Since Jesus is the eternal God, Creator, and Source of life, then He has the right to claim authority over everything — including us. We have zero claim of authority over ourself. All claims of authority outside of God’s rightful rule are an act of rebellion.
Second, His presence demands our response. The one position we can’t take in regard to Jesus is neutral. When we see Jesus clearly, we must decide how to live in light of Him.
Finally, His presence offers hope. As the claim is that Jesus is God and with God, then the claim of what He does for us to relate us to God can be supported. Jesus overcomes the darkness of sin, rebellion, the enemy, and judgment. The hope we’re looking for comes from the One with the authority to offer it and the power to deliver it.
He is the Word by which all things are created, all life is held together, and all hope is distributed. Clearly behold Him and live by your identity in Him.
Philip Nation is an author, pastor, and professor. He serves as the Director for Global Impact Churches with the Baptist World Alliance. He’s the author of numerous books and studies including Habits for Our Holiness and Pursuing Holiness: Applications from James. He’s overjoyed to be married to Angie and the father of two sons, Andrew and Chris. He blogs at philipnation.net.
This article originally appeared in HomeLife magazine (July 2019). For more articles like this, subscribe to HomeLife.