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Love of Darkness

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

—John 1:10–13

Jesus came as the Light of the world. It is by this light that truth is revealed to all people. Yet that light is rejected, because the natural man loves darkness and hates light (John 3:19–21). And it is not only the irreligious and those who might be considered “bad” people who prefer darkness, but also those who are commonly considered “good.”


John 1:10 tells us why irreligious people reject Christ: they are spiritually darkened and morally depraved. But John 1:11 shows why moral and religious people often reject Jesus. They want to keep his glory for themselves. They don’t want to trust and worship a Messiah; they want to be Messiahs; they want to be worshiped. Instead of humbling themselves before a Savior, the moral achievers want to be glorified for their own works. The irreligious love darkness because it provides a cover for their sin. But the religious unbeliever loves the darkness because it makes him seem so much better by comparison. In the dark, the light of a candle shines brightly. But when the full, blazing light of the sun rises up, candles are shown up as the dim lights that they are.

The true light that is Jesus Christ came into the world to enlighten everyone. He exposes the dimness of every other supposed light and shows even the religious people’s need for a Savior. In the presence of Christ and his holy perfection, we are forced to humble ourselves and confess our wickedness. This is why the Jewish leaders hated Jesus. Sadly, many today would rather put away the Savior, even to their own ultimate destruction, just as Israel did, rather than put away their pride and humble themselves before Jesus.

We should realize that the example of the Jews condemns us all. Far from thinking, “What terrible people they were,” we should realize that they were the most enlightened of all people. We are no better. Apart from God’s saving grace, we all reject Jesus rather than humble ourselves, confessing and forsaking our sin. The example of Israel merely shows the total depravity of the human heart and our total need for the saving grace of God to enable us to believe.

—Richard D. Phillips, The Incarnation in the Gospels (P&R Publishing, 2008), 171–172.

Posted 2013·12·27 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Christmas · Gospel of John · Idolatry · Richard Phillips · Sola Gratia · The Incarnation in the Gospels · Total Depravity

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