By David Filson
Section 1: The Light of the World
I get many compliments on my glasses. I got them at this place in a hip part of Nashville. People say they make me look younger. But, these are your grandpa’s glasses! There are three levels of vision correction in my prescription. If I take them off, I can’t see a thing.
Spiritually, when left to ourselves, our vision is blurry. We are blind. We read in today’s reading that the “god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers,” so that they do not see the “light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:1–6). In the first half of John’s gospel, before we arrive at Jesus declaring He is the light, John highlights the many miracles of Jesus, yet people persisted in unbelief. This is the context of Jesus declaring that He is the light (John 12:46), the way, the truth, and the life—the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
So how do we help others come to see this? We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord (2Corinthians 4:5). Advent light shines in our hearts to give “the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ” (v.6). The light proclaimed in John 12:46–50 begins with the staggering Advent mystery of a babe, helpless, held in His mother’s arms, breaking the hold that sin and unbelief had on us.
What better gift to share than the story of God’s glory shining in a little baby’s face. A child in a manger on a mission to defeat the god of this age—Merry Christmas! The First and the Last born in a cattle stall, so we would not fear—Merry Christmas! The risen and reigning Christ, who the aged apostle John would see in a vision shining with the full strength of the sun, came to woo and welcome sinners to believe in Him (Revelation 1:12–20). A fierce Light pierced the darkness that night. The babe in the manger scene? He came to reign as your eternal King!
It is the Advent reality, the incarnation of the eternal Logos, who came to scatter the darkness of a sin-weary world.