This week I’m giving away the best resource I’ve found for digging into the ancient text, The Key-Word Study Bible.
To enter into the drawing, you only need to do two things:
- “Like” my Facebook Andy Lee (Author) page if you haven’t already.
- Leave a comment on the post below.
The winner will be drawn next Tuesday (December 17) and posted on next week’s Word Wednesday.
Now to today’s Word Wednesday lesson:
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood (overcome) it.” (John 1:5 addition mine)
We’ve all experienced awkward moments with people who don’t share our faith in Jesus. They look at us funny. Silence permeates the room. “Uncomfortable” creeps in, and we decide to change the subject. Sometimes those who don’t believe make me feel, well, for lack of a better word…stupid.
I’ve feared turning people away from Jesus, and that fear has made me choose my words carefully. I’m not condoning my methods, just keeping it real. Have you ever done this?
A friend was telling me of her Christmas card dilemma. Her family shuns her when she speaks of God or Jesus. It’s painful, and I can tell she is wearying and wary of their reactions. She opted for a generic greeting on her card this year.
I had just finished studying John 1:5 before my conversation with this friend, so when she told me of her family’s attitude toward her now that she is a believer, this verse came to my mind. “…the darkness has not understood it.”
“I know why they act that way!” I said, probably with a little too much excitement.
“What?” she asked.
“I know why they act that way!” I repeated. “They don’t get it. They can’t understand your faith…. Let me read you the scripture.”
I began looking up John 1:5 in the Bible closest to me, which was not the one I studied earlier. But this Bible, though the same translation, did not read the same. John 1:5 read, “The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it.”
I thought I had the wrong verse. I flipped through some pages, but I was 98% sure that this was the right one.
After I got off the phone, I found my other Bible to check my memory. Was I losing my mind? No. They were different.
When two NIV Bibles translate a verse differently, I can’t ignore it. You shouldn’t either. Start digging.
When I looked up the ancient text, in the back of my Key-Word, the definitions confirmed the two different translations. The Greek word is Katalambano, which literally means to overtake something, but figuratively… to comprehend.
The commentator theorized that John employed both meanings of Katalambano. He explained, “The ‘darkness’ cannot get a handle on the ‘Light’ in the sense that it is utterly unable to understand it. The light by its very nature overcomes and dispels the darkness” (Zhodiates, Key-Word Study Bible).
There it is…the darkness is utterly unable to understand the light, and by its very nature cannot overcome the intensity, power, and brightness of the eternal Light.
I have to remember this as I pray for those who don’t believe. I pray that the light bulb will come on lighting the way to understanding.
I have to remember this as I talk with those who simply can’t grasp it. But I also must know that there is nothing to fear. What I share with them is light. As I pray for them to understand, the light will overcome the darkness.
How will this change the way you pray for those who don’t know Christ and how you interact with them?
May I pray for us?
“Lord of Light, fill us with your brightness. Let our words and actions shine of eternity. We pray for the hearts and minds of those we love who don’t understand our faith. Help them understand. Turn the light on in them. Overcome the darkness. We love you. Amen.”
Leave a comment and “like” my page to enter into the drawing! I want to bless you with the resource that made a huge difference in my understanding of the Bible.