on John 1 :5
And the light shineth in darkness - By darkness here may be understood:
1. The heathen world, Ephesians 5:8.
2. The Jewish people.
3. The fallen spirit of man.
Comprehended it not - Αυτο ου κατελαβεν, Prevented it not - hindered it not, says Mr. Wakefield, who adds the following judicious note: - "Even in the midst of that darkness of ignorance and idolatry which overspread the world, this light of Divine wisdom was not totally eclipsed: the Jewish nation was a lamp perpetually shining to the surrounding nations; and many bright luminaries, among the heathen, were never wanting in just and worthy notions of the attributes and providence of God's wisdom; which enabled them to shine in some degree, though but as lights in a dark place, 2 Peter 1:19. Compare Acts 14:17; Acts 17:28, Acts 17:29."
on John 1 :5
The light shineth in darkness - Darkness, in the Bible, commonly denotes ignorance, guilt, or misery. See Isaiah 9:1-2; Matthew 4:16; Acts 26:18; Ephesians 5:8, Ephesians 5:11; Romans 13:12. It refers here to a wicked and ignorant people. When it is said that "the light shineth in darkness," it is meant that the Lord Jesus came to teach an ignorant, benighted, and wicked world. This has always been the case. It was so when he sent his prophets; so during his own ministry; and so in every age since. His efforts to enlighten and save men have been like light struggling to penetrate a thick, dense cloud; and though a few rays may pierce the gloom, yet the great mass is still an impenetrable shade.
Comprehended it not - This word means "admitted" it not, or "received" it not. The word "comprehend," with us, means to "understand." This is not the meaning of the original. The darkness did not "receive" or "admit" the rays of light; the shades were so thick that the light could not penetrate them; or, to drop the figure, men were so ignorant, so guilty, so debased, that they did not appreciate the value of his instructions; they despised and rejected him. And so it is still. The great mass of men, sunk in sin, will not receive his teachings, and be enlightened and saved by him. Sin always blinds the mind to the beauty and excellency of the character of the Lord Jesus. It indisposes the mind to receive his instructions, just as "darkness" has no affinity for "light;" and if the one exists, the other must be displaced.
on John 1 :5
1:5 And the light shineth in darkness - Shines even on fallen man; but the darkness - Dark, sinful man, perceiveth it not.