Is it not strange that the one who is the light of the world, who dwells in unapproachable light, would need a witness to confirm who he is? Surely the light of men would shine so brightly as to be unmistakable?
John 1:5-12 begins by proclaiming the triumph of Jesus over darkness. But don’t jump to victory too quickly — where does the light shine? That’s right, the light shines in the darkness. When it is dark people don’t see very well and so God sent a witness to alert folks that the light was coming. He (the light) came to his own, but his own did not receive him. They either didn’t recognize who he was, or didn’t want him even if they did recognize him.
Here is tragedy, those who do not receive Jesus forfeit an astonishing gift — to become children of God. What is required is so simple:
to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
To all who believe in Jesus, he gives the right to become children of God. What is given is astonishing, and who it is given to is astonishing.
This blessing from God is given to those who are in darkness yet believe because a witness was sent from God to testify about the light. If the witness had not been sent (by God) then none would have believed and been given the right to inherit God’s kingdom. This is grace.
Photo of solar eclipse: Luc Viatour