We are told in 1 John that we should “walk in the light as he himself is in the light.”1 We walk in the light. God is the light, and he is in the light. The result of our walking in the light is that we have fellowship with others who also walk in the light.
I read once that “darkness is an unsocial condition,”2 and the longer I pondered that statement, the more profound it became to me. Darkness changes us. People feel differently in the dark. They behave differently in the dark. There are things people are willing to do in the dark that they are less willing or unwilling to do in the light.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105, NIV-1978
Do not read this as “word” in the sense of Bible, not even Old Testament Bible. “Word” – דְבָרֶ֑ךָ (ḏəḇārəḵā) is spoken word, discourse, or the summation of something that is spoken. So, even though it is written down for us to consume, it is the content, the message God conveys to us, that is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path. It is a subtle distinction but it seems worth noting.
As we transition forward, we find that Jesus is “the light of the world.”
When Jesus spoke again to the people he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
– John 8:12, NIV-1978
Jesus is also the Word – the λόγος.3 Again, this generally denotes a thing that is spoken, but has a rather wide semantic range. For example, it can refer to the overall summation of an entire string of statements. Consider a speech having been delivered, and afterward, someone asks you, “So, what was the message he/she was trying to get across?” They’re asking what was the λόγος? It is the idea when someone wants to “have a word” with you.
The entrance of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple.
– Psalm 119:130, NIV-1978
Contrast this with the fate of the wicked.
Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the LORD pursuing them!
– Psalm 35:6, ESV
Jesus is the light of the world, and he is the Word, the λόγος. But it is even more beautifully complex than that. Jesus is life, and that life is also light.
Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
– John 1:3-5, NIV-1978
The Creator is not comprehended by what he created. I suspect this is largely because we run to the darkness to hide our depravity.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
– John 3:19, NIV-1978
Just as humanity rejects the living Word that has come into the world, the unregenerate populace is not particularly receptive to the written message – the scriptures. The scriptures contain the same message (דְבָרֶ֑ךָ & λόγος) that was made flesh and pitched his tent among us.4 Humanity rejects and riducules the light all the while wallowing in darkness.
Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”
– John 12:35-36a, NIV-1978
Remember, the very first thing God said in Genesis is “Let there be light.”5
1. 1 John 1:7
2. Spence, H. D. M., & Excell, J. (Eds.). (2004). 1 John 1 – The Pulpit Commentaries – Bible Commentaries. StudyLight.org. Retrieved July 13, 2022, from https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tpc/1-john-1.html
3. John 1:1
4. John 1:14
5. Genesis 1:3