NLT Life Application Study Bible, Third Edition - Flipbook - Page 20
1 Jn 2:8
Rom 8:15-16, 29
1 Jn 3:1, 23
1 Tim 3:16
1 Jn 1:1; 4:2-3
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.*
6God sent a man, John the Baptist,* 7to tell about the light so that everyone might
believe because of his testimony. 8John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. 9The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world.
10He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11He
came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12But to all who believed him and
accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13They are reborn—not with
a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.
14So the Word became human* and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing
love and faithfulness.* And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and
15John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he
existed long before me.’”
1:5 Or and the darkness has not understood it.
1:6 Greek a man named John.
1:14a Greek became flesh.
1:14b Or grace and truth; also in 1:17.
1:1 John wrote to believers everywhere, both Jews and n
(Gentiles). As one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, John wrote with credibility
and the details of an eyewitness. His book is not a biography (like the
book of Luke); it is a thematic presentation of Jesus’ life. Many in John’s
original audience had a Greek background. Greek culture encouraged
the worship of many mythological gods, whose supernatural characteristics were as important to Greeks as genealogies were to Jews. John
shows that Jesus is not only different from but also superior to these
gods of mythology.
1:3-5 Do you ever feel as though your life is too complex and your
problems too profound for God to understand? Remember, God created
the entire universe, and nothing is too difficult for him. God created you,
he is alive today, and his love is bigger than any problem you may face.
1:3 When God created, he made something from nothing. Because God
created you from nothing, you have no basis for pride. Remember that
you exist only because God made you, and you have special gifts only
because God gave them to you. With God you are something valuable
and unique; apart from God you are nothing. If you try to live without
him, you will be abandoning the purpose for which you were made.
1:4 Why does Jesus’ life bring light to everyone? Because physical death
brings eternal darkness and only Jesus’ eternal life (his light) planted in
us will keep us alive in his new Kingdom for eternity. Jesus is eternally
alive because he is God. He came to earth to offer humankind the hope
and light of his eternal life. It can’t be purchased, only received as a gift.
But Jesus gives it only to those who want it—those who want to live the
way God’s citizens will live in his future eternal Kingdom.
1:5 “The darkness can never extinguish it” means that the darkness of
evil never has and never will overcome God’s light. Jesus Christ is the
creator of life, and his life brings light to humankind (1:9). In his light,
we see ourselves as we really are—sinners in need of a Savior. When
we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly through
the spiritual darkness that sin brings. Jesus lights the path ahead of us,
illuminating the truth and clarifying our thoughts so we can see how to
live. He removes the darkness of sin from our lives. In what ways have
you allowed the light of Jesus Christ to shine into your life? Let him guide
you, and you’ll never need to stumble in darkness.
1:6-8 For more information on John the Baptist, see his profile on
1:8 We, like John the Baptist, are not sources of God’s light; we merely
reflect that light. Jesus Christ is the true Light; he helps us see our way to
God and shows us how to walk along that way. But Jesus has chosen to
reflect his light through his followers to an unbelieving world, perhaps
because unbelievers are not able to bear the full blazing glory of his light
firsthand. The word witness indicates our role as reflectors of Christ’s
light. We are never to present our own ideas as the light to others, but
we are always to point them to the true Light, Jesus.
1:10-11 Although Jesus created the world, the people he created
didn’t recognize him (1:10). Even the people chosen by God to prepare
the rest of the world for the Messiah rejected him (1:11), although the
entire Old Testament pointed to his coming.
1:12-13 All who welcome Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives are reborn
spiritually, receiving new life from God. Through faith in Jesus, this new
birth changes us from the inside o ut—rearranging our attitudes, desires,
and motives. Being born makes you physically alive and places you in
your parents’ family (1:13). Being born of God makes you spiritually alive
and puts you in God’s family (1:12). Have you asked Jesus to make you a
new person? This fresh start in life is available to all who believe in him.
1:14 “The Word became human.” By doing this, Jesus became (1) the
perfect teacher—in his life we see how God thinks and therefore how we
should think (Philippians 2:5-11); (2) the perfect example—as a model of
what we are to become, he shows us how to live and gives us the power
to live that way (1 Peter 2:21); (3) the perfect sacrifice—Jesus came as a
sacrifice for all sins, and his death satisfied God’s requirements for the
removal of sin (Colossians 1:15-23).
1:14 Jesus became a human when he was conceived by the Holy
Spirit in Mary’s womb. He was not part human and part God; he was
completely human and completely divine (Colossians 2:9). Before Jesus
came, people could know God only partially. After Jesus came, people
could know God more fully because he became visible and tangible
in Jesus. The two most common errors people make about Jesus are
(1) to minimize his humanity by disregarding how he identifies with us
in our human bodies and (2) to minimize his deity by rejecting what he
has s ingle-handedly done for us in his death and resurrection. But Jesus
is both God and man.
1:14 In the statement “we have seen his glory,” John would have had
in mind the whole Old Testament witness to God’s glory, which added
weight to his further revelation about Jesus. But he may also have been
reflecting on how that witness had revealed itself when he, Peter, and
James had seen Jesus in shining splendor at the Transfiguration (see
Matthew 17:1-13). The concept of glory does not impress people today,
but to John’s readers it stood for God himself. Jesus was a real expression
of God’s overwhelming presence and power.
1:14 “The Father’s one and only Son” emphasizes the uniqueness of
Jesus. All believers are called “children of God,” but Jesus is one of a
kind and enjoys a perfect relationship with God the Father.