Don’t you just love someone who gets right to the point of things? They don’t tread around the edges of an issue; they jump right in even if it means whacking you over the head with a 2 x 4. John is only four verses into his gospel when he whacks us over the head…hard. He writes: In him [The Word] was life, and the life was the light of men. Doesn’t seem like much of a 2 x 4 to you? Oh, it is, trust me.
There is only one conclusion to draw from John’s statement: Men need the light. If men need the light then it is clear that they themselves are in darkness. Light and dark will be favorite themes of John—as will life and death and Christ as the Word. Darkness is something that men loved rather than light (John 1.17); however, Christ says: I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness (John 12.44). Christ as the light is fundamentally different from and indeed in opposition to, darkness. Men are in darkness; Christ comes with life [zoe] and this life is the light of men.
So yeah, John is saying here that you need light. Yes, you! If that isn’t being smacked in the face with a 2 x 4, then I don’t know what qualifies. And while John is at it, there is no getting eternal life if you continue on in darkness, because there can be no rapport between light and darkness, as we shall shortly see.