Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What if?

What if I could read the Bible without preconception? I find that easier said than done. I have, as I believe we all are, somewhat ruled by how we perceive things to be. But what if I just read the Bible for what I could glean from it in spite of my preconceptions? Maybe along the way I would find some challenging thought that might help me grow. So I want to try and apply this as I read through the Gospel of John. What is God trying to teach me, through the Holy Spirit, as I trust in His word? Your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.

John 1

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Word Became Flesh

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

So in the beginning there was the Word, Logos, which I interpret as a manifestation of Christ. This then tells me that Christ has always been in existence, and is in fact God Himself. As I currently understand it, a part of a mysterious trinity that encapsulates who God is. A part of, yet independent of in some way, for it says that He (the Word) was with God. How can I be with myself? So perhaps there is a togetherness along with an independence? Yet there is only one God. Jesus affirms this when He states that He and the Father are one. Confusing. Perhaps I don't need to understand all there is to know about this.

And all things were made through Him (the Word). And also in Him was life, and our very cause for existence. That's how I take the word "light," because light gives understanding. Without light in a dark room, we wander about not knowing if we will trip over something, run in to a wall, or other such happenstance. The Word gives life purpose and meaning, because it gives understanding. 

The light shines in the darkness. When the light is on, the darkness goes away. In this case I take the darkness to be a lack of understanding. Darkness does not overcome light, light overcomes darkness. You can't go into a room and turn on darkness, you create darkness by turning off the light. I like the KJV rendering of the word "overcome." It translates it "comprehended" which leads to a somewhat different understanding of verse 5. Instead of the darkness not being able to overcome the light, the darkness cannot even understand the light. I think of people with whom I have had conversations about many issues, and it seems like sometimes they cannot even imagine things I might speak of. Or I think of Jesus and His dealings with the religious leaders of the day. They just could not comprehend things being the way that He said they were. 

Thought for the Day: I don't want to live in darkness. Jesus has appeared as a light in the darkness. So if I want to escape the darkness of my own self, I have to let go of my humanity and try to grasp what the God of the Universe is doing through His Son. That is not an easy task!

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