John 1:5 Meaning of Light in the Darkness

John 1:5
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Explanation and Commentary of John 1:5

Jesus is the light of the world (Jn 1:4). He is the “true light, which gives light to everyone” (v.9). This means that he would be the one to drive away the darkness of the dominion of satan. This means that the truth would prevail upon deception. This means that what is hidden and secret, will be made known to all. Jesus is the light that makes sense of the world.

The darkness sought to put out the light from the time of his birth when Herod decreed the death of all boys of the same age in order to kill the Messiah before he could grow up and take Herod’s kingdom away. The darkness overcame Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, bringing the influence of darkness upon the whole world. But it did not ever overcome the light of Christ. The darkness never prevailed against him in his life, and it was defeated definitively by Christ’s death on the cross.

Jesus is the Way and Truth and Light (Jn 14:6). He has prevailed. In the end, the light must win. When God’s people walk in him, they walk in his light. This is the main way to overcome the darkness in the world. The Church is called to take the light into all the world (Mt 5:14) and to overthrow the darkness until Jesus finally returns and the victory of the light over the darkness is complete.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 1:5

#1 “The light…”
Jesus is the light. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isa 9:2).

#2 “shines in the darkness,”
Jesus, the light of God, came directly into the darkness of the earth, taking ground from satan as he healed the sick, raised the dead, and released the captives from demonic oppression. Jesus brought the truth into the realm of lies and exposed the deceptions and plots of the evil one. Jesus brought the revelation of God and his heart for the lost into the dark world of hopelessness.

#3 “and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Satan has opposed Christ at every turn, but even when he thought himself the victor, moving Judas to betray Christ, the Jews to reject him, and the Romans to crucify him, he only played into the hands of the Lamb of God, slain since the foundation of the earth. Some translations say “the darkness has not understood it.” In this case, though the meaning would be slightly different, the application is the same. The light has come and prevailed over the darkness.

Bible Study on John 1:5

Expert Overview of John Ch. 1-12

Biblical Translations of John 1:5

NIV
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

NLT
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

ESV
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

KJV
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

NKJV
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:5 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.