“The light shines in the darkness”.

Jn 1:5 NIV

If you really want to see light shine, find some real darkness. Spend a night or two in Olifants Camp in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, which is far away from anywhere, and whilst you barbecue (or “braai”) your evening meal just look up. The light you see will take your breath away. You will see billions of tiny stars, some of them bigger ones, the milky way and much more. You will keep turning your head back again and again, wondering if it is real. You are kilometres from any town or artificial light and the natural lights gleam in the total darkness. One imagines there were few artificial lights in the apostle John’s time. And thus they would have been much more sensitive to the contrast between light and darkness. And in much of what he wrote of Christ’s sayings he recorded the conflict between light and darkness.

Christ’s whole mission was a penetration of darkness by the light. Evil, sin, disease, violence, lies, unbelief and hatred – these were all manifestations of the darkness which held the world in its grip. But Jesus was the light of God and he was light from God that came into the world to shine the light and love of God into the darkness. And wherever he went, whatever he did, whatever he said – it threw light all around. Little wonder that he could declare, “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (Jn 9:5 NIV).

There is still darkness, spiritual, moral, and religious in God’s world today. But wherever the disciples of Jesus point to him there the light shines in the darkness. It is a challenge to believers in their everyday lives.


Lord, enable me to shine your light in this dark world.