Darkness is the absence of light. When God began His creation work, He came to a place of darkness: “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep” (Gen. 1:2 ESV). His first act in preparing this planet for the benefit and blessing of mankind, was to introduce His light, which was necessary for life to exist: “And God said ‘let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gen. 1:3). Man was created on the sixth day, after which it is said that “God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). Sadly, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s only restrictive command: “Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:17). The result? Their fellowship with Him was broken, and sin entered into the world causing distance from the One who is light and life. Death and spiritual darkness were the result of this first sin. Since Adam and Eve, everyone is born with a sinful nature, characterized by spiritual darkness and separation from the source of light, God Himself. “You were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Isaiah spoke of One who was to come to bring light into the spiritual darkness caused by sin: “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them light has shined” (Isa. 9:2). This was a prophesy about the Messiah, the Savior of the world, who would come to bring the light of life to hearts darkened by sin. Matthew, when confirming that Jesus was the One who fulfilled this prophesy, stated: “The people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them the light has dawned” (Mt. 4:16).
John stated that Jesus was the “Word” – God’s communication to a dying world – and that through Him, mankind could be reconciled to God and live in His light. “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it … The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him … But to all who did receive Him, who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” (Jn. 1:4-5,9-12).
John also recorded these words: “Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life’” (Jn. 8:12). He followed Jesus and believed that He was the promised Savior, the means of salvation from sin and from separation with God. And John recorded these words of Jesus: “Unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins” (Jn. 8:24). He then said: “If you abide in My word, you are truly My disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:31).
Jesus went on to prove these statements. As He walked away from the temple area He saw a blind man begging. The disciples asked Him, “‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’ Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him … As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world’” (Jn 9:1-5). He then gave sight to this man.
The blind man had lived in darkness from birth, and while all sickness derives from original sin, his blindness, like many types of illness and disease, was not a direct result of any specific sin. Rather it was the result of the darkness and death which came because of the sinful nature of mankind. Paul wrote, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God … For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 3:23; 6:23).
When Jesus revealed Himself to Paul on the road to Damascus He made a very important statement: “I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). Darkness was characterized as sin and being under the control of Satan. The gospel brings light to the lost, showing them the way to salvation
The Pharisees who did not believe in Jesus questioned His words to the healed beggar and asked: “‘Are we also blind?’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were blind you would have no guilt, but now that you say ‘We see,’ your guilt remains’” (Jn. 9:41). Jesus was speaking of spiritual light and life. The blind man is a good illustration of what happens to a sinner who comes into the light when he believes and receives Jesus as Lord and Savior. He no longer walks in darkness, but has a new life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). He may not understand all that is involved in this new life, but he will be able to say with the blind beggar, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” (Jn. 9:25).
This reminds me of Gilberto, a new believer in Bucaramanga, Colombia. He was riding a bus to work one day when a man sat beside him. He seemed agitated, so Gilberto asked, “What’s wrong? You seem unhappy.” The man said that he had many problems, was an alcoholic and didn’t know what to do.
Gilberto said to him, “I was like that too not long ago. But all that changed when I became a Christian. I was saved, and now things are very different. Come with me to a meeting tonight where some brothers can tell you how to be saved.”
That night the man received Jesus as his Savior and became a new man. He is now an evangelist, giving his testimony to all who will listen to how his life changed because he found the light of life, the Lord Jesus.
Jesus wants to bring His light into your life to overcome your darkness; He wants to give you His strength to help you follow and serve Him.
By Ian Taylor
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org