Jn.1:5 – Amp – The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].

This verse is a description of Jesus as the Light of the World. This is not the kind of light that flows out from the sun, this is the uncreated Light that is the very radiance of God. There is a word in this verse, katalambanein, that has multiple meanings and adds to the beauty and power of this passage. Here are the three possible meanings of this word from Barclay’s Commentary.

(a) It can mean that the darkness never understood the light. There is a sense in which the man or woman of the world simply cannot understand the demands of Christ and the way Christ offers. To such people, it seems sheer foolishness. You cannot understand Christ without first submitting to him.

(b) It can mean that the darkness never overcame the light. Katalambanein can mean to pursue until one overtakes and so lays hold on and overcomes. This could mean that the darkness of the world had done everything possible to eliminate Jesus Christ, even to crucifying him; but it could never destroy him. This could be a reference to the crucified and conquering Christ.

(c) It can be used of extinguishing a fire or flame. That is the sense in which we have taken it here. Although some people did all they could to obscure and extinguish the light of God in Christ, they could not quench it. In every generation, the light of Christ still shines in spite of such efforts to extinguish the flame.

First, people that are spiritually blind cannot even comprehend what light is. How do you describe light to a blind man? Once the blind eyes are healed the blind person enters into a brand new world. This is how the light of Christ is. Not everyone can see, but when Christ opens your eyes everything comes alive.

Secondly, darkness can never create light. Think about it, the darkness of this world comes from the prince of darkness. He is a fallen, created being. He is no challenge to the light of the world and can never overcome the Light of the World.

Finally, darkness can never put out the Light of Christ. His Light is infinite and all powerful. The Light penetrates the darkness of this world, all that know Him live and rejoice in this light.


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