The True Light of Christmas
Pastor Brent Whitefield
Introduction: The most consequential event in human history—God coming to mankind in the person of Jesus—is nowhere more beautifully and richly explained than in the prologue to John’s Gospel. We are reminded here of the only other moment of similar weight: The creation of the world, when God spoke and separated the light and the darkness. Now the true light that Christ represents will vanquish the darkness once and for all—but only for his children, those who receive him.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Scholars have long debated the exact meaning of the Greek term “ο λόγος” normally rendered “the Word.” Are there other English words or phrases that would better catch the essence of what John is trying to convey?
2. Since John the Baptist came before Christ, and we live in the period after Christ’s earthly ministry, does it stand to reason that we should be more effective than John as witnesses to the light?
3. How is it possible for darkness to overcome light?
4. If we reject, as I think we must, the idea that everyone receives Christ or that everyone is saved, how do we understand the expression “gives light to everyone” in verse 9?
5. It could be argued that John uses three different senses of the word “world” in verse 10 alone. Explain.
6. We use the term “glory” a lot, but do we know what it means? For example, when it says in verse 14 “we have seen his glory,” what does that mean?
1. Read John 1:1-18.
2. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. – Hebrews 1:1-2
3. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. – Isaiah 9
4. The sun shall be no more your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give you light; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. – Isaiah 60
5. For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. – Psalm 18
6. 01. Light reveals that which has been hidden.
7. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. – Psalm 90
8. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God. – John 3
9. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God. – Ephesian 3
10. 02. Light spreads and can be spread.
11. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5
12. 03. Light changes everything.
13. If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him. – John 11
14. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. – Revelation 22