Light and darkness. Could there be any greater or more compelling a contrast between two things? Opposites and in opposition, and neither can exist in the presence of the other. This is exactly the position we see between those who come to the Lord and those who choose not to, as described in this scripture. Just as light displaces darkness, so too the truth of the light of the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is the light of this world, displaces the darkness of ignorance and evil.
In the Beginning
The separation of good and evil is the oldest aspect of the Creation done by God. It was God who made this distinction and set specific “lines in the sand” between what was acceptable and what was not.
Consider those oft quoted words of Genesis 1:3, which says, “Let there be light!” If you then read the next verse (verse 4) it says, “And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.”
God saw that “the light was good.” He shows us from the very beginning of the creation just exactly what this light is, it is good. He does not say that the darkness is good, but instead we see that he “separated the light from the darkness.” Thus we can see that if God said that this light was good and he separated it from the darkness, the darkness was not good.
Furthermore we should understand that this occurred on the very first day of the Creation. Even before the sun, moon and stars were created, for they were not made until the fourth day. So it is evident on the first day that God was not speaking about daytime and nighttime as we perceive it in relation to the spinning of the earth on its axis. For the sun, moon and stars did not even exist when God proclaimed the light to be good and separated it from the darkness. The light and darkness defined in the first day of the a creation are the separation of good from evil, and that was how the Creation began.
Children of the Darkness
Coming back into John now we see that the impact of Jesus coming to the earth has caused a polarization of mankind. That polarization is the same separation that we saw right from the beginning. It is a separation into those who choose to follow what is good from those who choose to do evil. That is, those who follow the light and those who follow the darkness.
Verses 19-20 shows us the judgement of the people. “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.”
When the true light, Jesus Christ, came into the world, a line was drawn that separated good and evil. And we see that the children of the darkness are known because they choose to do what is evil. They choose to follow the ways of sin and to follow Satan, and their works and deeds are of the evil one. Jesus Christ has exposed their evil and sinful ways by shining the light of the truth on them so that their evil can be perceived by all. And they hate it! They hide from the truth and they skulk in dark places as creatures of the night. They are truly children of the darkness, and so often we see them do their evil deeds under the cover of darkness where they believe they will not be seen or discovered.
What is worse, they not only do these works, they LOVE to do what is evil, foul and filthy. And even worse again, they try to get others to join in their wicked ways. As Paul wrote, “Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)
Unless they repent and come to the light their end will correspond to their deeds. Their doom will be certain and justly deserved.
Children of the Light
But if they repent and come to the light, there is hope. There is hope for all of mankind simply because one of the key purposes of Jesus Christ and the working of the New Covenant is to give man hope.
And how do we know those who are of the light? As John wrote, “But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” (Verse 21) The light is perceived in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are called to walk in the light.
It is important as children of the light that we walk in the light. We cannot ever stop or cease walking, for Jesus showed us, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:35-36)
If we ever cease to walk in the light the darkness will overtake us. Evil lies close at hand following and ready to snatch away the light of those who would allow it to do so. That is why we must continue to walk with Jesus and to learn all that He can show us. Then we will truly be the children of the light and the children of God.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng www.sxc.hu/ taken by Fran Flores)