S (Scripture): John 1:4 In him was life, and the life was the light of humankind. 1:5 And the light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.
O (Observation): The opposition of light/darkness is a theme that runs through the Gospel of John and has parallels in Genesis.
Darkness, according to John, does not necessarily refer to a group of people. Rather, darkness seems to refer to the sphere in which people find themselves: “They loved darkness rather than light” (John 3:19). Those who follow Jesus do not walk in darkness (8:12).
This particular translation (The NET Bible), doesn’t refer to the darkness wishing to just “overcome” the light, but to “master” the light. The reference to the darkness not being able to “master” the light has a double meaning, such as the example “he mastered his lesson” and “he mastered his opponent.” Darkness cannot comprehend the light, nor can it overcome the light. This double meaning adds some depth to this dichotomy of light and darkness.
A (Application): Darkness is scary. Darkness causes me stub my toe on the bedpost. Darkness makes everything seem hidden.
In contrast, the light gives us peace, a path, and has a revealing nature about it. The light, specifically Jesus, has a way of bringing these sensations to me.
Now, believing in Jesus and being his witness doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth in my life. The darkness still exists in my life and yours, but the darkness will NOT be able to master the light. Even in our darkest days, the light still reigns.
For me, my wife has been a true light. I found that some of my actions during my college years were more about darkness than light, but through those years, dating my future wife, she came with some light that certainly originated from The Lord himself. That light was too much for the darkness that I sometimes walked around in. I thank God for sending me a little extra light during those years.
Where do you sense darkness in your life? What would the light look like for your darkness? A friend? A pastor? Prayer? Reading Scripture?
Where have you sensed the light in your life? What form did it take? Have you shared those moments with others, so that you can witness the light and its effect on you?
P (Prayer): Lord of light, Lord who is “the light”: Shine on our paths, make the sun to rise in the morn and in the moments of dusk. Bring clarity where there is darkness in our lives, that we may witness to your great love and security. Amen.