In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
I. THIS SCRIPTURE OPENS UP TO US GOD'S LIVING WAY OF MAKING HIMSELF KNOWN TO US. The Bible is the record and interpretation of a way of creation and life, which leads from the promise of the beginning on and on, with a purpose never given up, and toward a goal never lost from sight, and against all human gravitation downward from its high intent until it completes its course in that one sinless life through which God shines — the true light. God has been present as a living power in man's life, as the educating and redemptive power in Israel, as the grace and truth of life in Jesus Christ.
II. THIS SCRIPTURE DISCLOSES GOD'S WAY OF ILLUMINING OUR LIVES. Christ entering into human life is its light. He lights up all our history. Other lights of human kindling illumine but portions of our life, and all go out in death. But there is no phase of our nature, no need of our common humanity, no possibility of our love and hope which His life does not purify and irradiate. God with us in our life is alone adequate to human nature. Shall I not trust myself to the life which meets at every point my life? The real gospel thus is God's life through Christ touching our life and making it new. It has Divine right in the midst of the business of the world. It cannot, without disloyalty, be divorced from common life, sundered from its vital relation to the trade, the politics, and the conduct of men. Jesus Christ brought the kingdom of heaven down to the streets of Capernaum, and what the Church wants is to bring His life through the relations of society around the whole circumference of human life.
III. ONLY THROUGH LIVES IN REAL SYMPATHY WITH GOD AND CHRIST ARE WE TO RECEIVE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Not that the mystery of God in Christ is not to be the subject of theological inquiry, but that we are to learn Christian truth, first and best of all in the school where Jesus came to teach it — the school of real life. Our best light always is the kindling of the life into truth. Through life to knowledge is the Christian way. As God has come home to man through the life of Christ, so are we to draw near unto God through the Christian life. If we will live Christ-like lives doubt not that God will reveal His truth and His goodness through them.
Parallel VersesKJV: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.