The Hope of Christ and True Transformation

Within our pluralistic society, the exceedingly bold declaration that Jesus is the Light is just as controversial as it would have been in John’s pluralistic first century context (5:1). Similarly, one can easily misquote John’s thesis that “God is love” (4:16-17)  by making God an impersonal, de-centralized life force, similar to the Buddhist concept of vijñāna. Is light an abstract term, or is Light a person? How do we define love? According to John, we can know God relationally through the person of Jesus (4:17). John asserts that the only true enlightenment is by God’s Holy Spirit, that “testifies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh” (4:2). Instead of an ephemeral, vaguely spiritual Savior, we have a Savior who did not come by water only (baptism), but by water and blood (birth) (5:6).