“I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness. John 12:46
Nearly every Christmas movie and special reaches its climax with a declaration, “That’s what Christmas is all about.” We don’t have to wonder though. Multiple times in the gospel of John Jesus clearly says what Christmas was all about and why He came. First, Jesus explained He had come to do the Father’s will, resulting in salvation, preservation, and glorification for us. Jesus said He came for judgment. Last week, Jesus declared He came to bring us life, and even better, life more abundantly. In John 12:46, He says He came as Light.
Why do we need Light?
John opened his gospel describing Jesus as the Light that came into the world (John 1:4-5, 9) and this thread runs through the entire book. The simple truth is that He wouldn’t have come unless we needed Him. We were struggling in the darkness of unbelief. We didn’t understand and probably didn’t care that we were sinners. We didn’t comprehend there was hope. We were spiritually blind. So at this moment of our rebellion and apathy, Jesus Christ came to deliver us. And we had no idea what a big deal that was, what a gift beyond imagination.
It’s for everyone
That gift of deliverance from darkness is for everyone, everyone who believes. Not just Jews. Not just people 2000 years ago. Not just wealthy or educated. Not just the connected or the religious. Anyone who wants to be rescued from the darkness can be because the Light came into the world at Christmas.
Jesus says we won’t remain in darkness. There can’t be darkness in the presence of light. That’s true even in the physical world. Once we have received Him, the Light, darkness has no place in our lives, nor can we be overcome by it ever again. And as amazing and wonderful as that gift is, Jesus goes beyond that.
We also have an inheritance. Paul picks up on John’s theme in his letter to Colosse. “[G]iving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:12-13).
Light. An inheritance. Once and for all. That’s a great gift for us. It’s no wonder we hang lights on our trees and houses. It reminds us of the Light that came into the world so that we wouldn’t have to remain in darkness.
(Next week is Christmas, so there won’t be a post. But the week after, when some celebrate the arrival of the wise men, we’ll talk about one more reason Jesus said that He came. A very merry Christmas to you and yours!)