by Cynthia Ruchti
Somewhere in my youth–fourteen? fifteen? sixteen?–I dove headfirst into Bible quizzing, a major event for our church youth group and other groups in our district. In adulthood, it occurred to me that my motives weren’t entirely pure. Competition sometimes overshadowed my sincere desire to understand the Bible better.
I don’t even recall what the rewards were for capturing a win for our quizzing team. Or personal wins. Almost daily, I profit from the benefit of having memorized and studied God’s Word, even when motivated by competition.
Apparently one of the journeys God called me to this year is taking a fresh look at familiar passages of Scripture. One of the Bible quizzing challenges from my childhood was to memorize portions of the first chapter of the Book of John.
In the past weeks, every time I open my Bible app, it defaults to the first chapter of John. Large print. Tugging at me.
Rather than scrolling past it to some other passage, I’ve lingered over those familiar words: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God,” John 1:1-2 KJV.
Verses four and five resonated in a new way: “In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
The darkness didn’t get it. No comprende. It didn’t understand.
“Light. It, like, lights things.”
“I don’t get it.”
Darkness can’t understand. It finds light shocking and disturbing. We can extract a measure of peace from that.
When we write about Light, those shrouded in darkness won’t understand what we’re saying. They can’t. If they find what we say about Jesus–the Light–offensive, it’s part of the price we pay for speaking Light into darkness. It’s darkness’s natural response.
Other versions of those verses throw more…uh…light on the passage.
“…and the darkness can never extinguish it” (NLT).
“…and the darkness has never put it out” (ISV).
“…but the darkness has not mastered it” (NET).