December 17, 2013

THE LIGHT HAS COME, by Bryan Norford

I hate candles. Our home has hosted two small fires thanks to candles. If I had the authority, I’d ban them from the planet—at least until the next power outage. But a current TV advertisement shows the power of one candle: in pitch blackness its light is visible beyond the length of several football fields.

Isaiah 60:1–2 promises: “[Israel’s] light has come” to dispel the intense darkness that covers the earth.John identifies Jesus as the source of life, “and that life is the light of men.” But although that “light shines in the darkness,” the darkness “has not understood it,” John 1:4–5.

Also translated “Has not overcome it,” the last phrase still carries the idea of a concept that darkness cannot grasp. God’s thoughts are not only higher than ours; His ways are sufficiently different to be mostly opposite to ours.

Our fallen condition has reversed God’s vision of the world. The lie that holds the world in darkness is that power is the final authority; when, in reality, God created our world for love to be the ultimate ruler.

The reverence accorded to Nelson Mandela briefly reminds us, from somewhere beneath our distorted thinking, that forgiveness and reconciliation, established at the cross, is the bedrock of human existence. That light will flicker for a while, until buried anew under human reasoning that cannot understand it.

John expands the content of Jesus’ light, describing Him “full of grace and truth.” John adds further, it is “from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another,” John 1:14 and 16.

The greatest characteristic of grace is humility. Jesus’ entry into the world was not in a blaze of supernatural power, but as a dependent child, born in a cattle shed and placed in a feeding trough. The darkness, hungry for power, cannot grasp this form of authority.

But humility is measured by the power it withholds. God measures his grace to us by Messiah’s humility. His humility is boundless because His omnipotence is ultimate. The wonder of Christmas is not just God’s amazing gift to us, but the humility of God it portrayed. 

[Jesus], being in very nature God, 
Did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
But made Himself nothing, 
Taking the very nature of a servant, 
Being made in human likeness.'
And being found in appearance as a man, 
He humbled himself
And became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 
Phil 2:6-8

Darkness cannot understand this light; it is foolishness to it. I’m not sure I can fully absorb this light either; utterly aware of how short I fall from its example. But I will rejoice that this unfathomable and unexpected plan of God is already dispelling our darkness—towards its day of complete erasure.


  1. Thank you Bryan. I love all the scriptures about light, and especially how Jesus is the light for all mankind. I am so thankful for Him. Loved your thoughts.

  2. "God created our world for love to be the ultimate ruler." Amen. I love being reminded of how Jesus displayed such authority through humility. Thank you Bryan.

  3. Yes! Jesus is the light! (And FYI I love candles...)

  4. Sorry, Bryan, that you don't love candles, but glad you love the Light!

  5. “from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another,” John 1:14 and 16 I'm so glad to read this today. It's just so true, and an intoxicating contemplation. Thanks for your wonderful post, Bryan.


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