Bringing the Light, Reflections on John 1:4

Written by: Chris Greer
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“…and his (Jesus’) life brought light to everyone.”(John 1:4b)

Most traditional Christian churches, for the last 50 years or so, have been built on an attraction model. The idea is this: “we’ve got something you want, so you can come to us to get it.”This is true: we do, and people can! But one look at a church growth chart for the past half-century and you’ll see that people simply don’t.

But we still know something people want. Or better said, we know someone they want. In his Gospel, the apostle John writes this about Jesus: “The Word gave life to everything that was created and his life brought light to everyone.”(John 1:4)

“…and his life brought light to everyone.”

I came across that verse this morning when I read the Gospel of John again. I was reminded that those verses, the book of John, indeed the whole Bible, are about one life: a life that brings light to everyone.

Like God is apt to do in our quiet moments with him, he gently focused my attention on one verse. This time in particular, the second half of the verse seemed to lift right off the page.

“…and his life brought light to everyone.”

There is a reason Jesus is the most interesting, compelling, and famous person in all of world history. His life brought light, non-exclusively, to everyone.

I need to remember this, as I think about my fears, hesitancy, and discomfort with sharing Christ with folks outside of my church.

You see, I’m a guy who participates in the aforementioned attraction model of the traditional church. I was raised in such a church, I’ve always attended one, and for the last five years I have worked in one. It’s safe to say, I love it! The church –traditional or not –should be loved. The church, since Jesus commissioned the apostles, has been the carrier of his light to everyone.

But, I know that not everyone loves, likes, or is as comfortable with church as I am.

Thankfully, Jesus still brings light to everyone, even those who dislike him and his church. So, the question I’ve been wrestling with is, am I going to participate with him in the bringing of life and light?

“…and his life brought light to everyone.”

Paul writes this beautiful description of Jesus in Philippians chapter 2:6-7:  “Though he was God, he did not think equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took upon the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.”

The reason we have his light is because Jesus brought it to us, selflessly thinking of us instead of himself.

What Jesus modeled is what it means to be the Church in a dark world. (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8)

Jesus has brought an intense and life-changing light to my life, and I don’t want to wait around to see if someone else comes to get it.

Who are you going to share Jesus’light with today? How can his light change your life and those around you, as it brings life to everyone?

Read an earlier post by Chris here.