In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
This is one of my favourite passages from the Bible. At first reading it may seem a bit difficult to understand, but as you read and re-read, what is being said begins to get clearer. As John opens his gospel, he points out that for the Christian everything begins with God and God was before all things. His opening words remind us of the opening words of Genesis, ‘In the beginning, God…’ What is more, the Word whom John identifies as Jesus, was there at the beginning of all time with the Father. John is making the important point that Jesus was and is eternal. ‘The light shines in the darkness…’ is also an allusion to Genesis 1. The creation of light banishes the darkness; darkness cannot do anything else but fade away in the light. The light of Christ cannot be overcome. Jesus demonstrated that in his ministry as he came up against opposition and overcame the effect of sin in a fallen world. The authorities may have used the cover of darkness to arrest him, but on the third day Jesus’ light blazed again. In these few verses we also have the promise that in believing in him, we will become children of God. The light of Christ came to banish the darkness of sin.