1 John 1:5
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
In verse 5, “This is” refers to the message. Message is the Greek word aggelia, which comes from the word aggelos. Aggelos is used to indicate a supernatural messenger , such as an angel of God, or a human who has a supernatural message or a prophet. On one such occasion Aggelos was used in the case of John the Baptist in Mark 1:2
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet
“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way,
The him, is the one who this book is written about, namely Jesus. Aggelia is only used twice in the new testament, and both times by John. He also uses it in 1 John 3:11.
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
We have the message, and the one whom the message is about, Jesus. John as an inspired writer has the authority to share as John now writes we “declare to you”. We as believers are the audience of this message. Declare is the Greek word apaggelló. HELPS expounds on the definition as follows:
518 apaggéllō (from 575 /apó, “from” intensifying angellō, “announce”) – properly, to declare (report) from, which focuses on the original source (context) shaping the substance of what is announced.
[The prefix (apo) distinctly “looks back” to the cause (occasion) of the announcing which gives 518 (apaggéllō) a distinct nuance-application in each case. This makes sensitivity to the context essential to properly understanding the force of 518 (apaggéllō) in each of its occurrences.]
John starts his message with Theos, which is used when it refers to God the creator and owner of all things. It also indicates one of God’s qualities. God is light. Not just light itself but the source of light. This is not just physical light, but also spiritual illumination to truth. Light is also an indication of holiness and as such refers also to the holiness of God.
John further tells us there is no darkness at all. Darkness is the Greek word scotia which is used as darkness or figuratively for spiritual darkness. HELPS further illustrates this as follows:
Cognate: 4653 skotía (a feminine noun) – darkness, a brand of moral, spiritual obscurity (i.e. which blocks the light of God when faith is lacking). See also 4655 /skótos (“darkness”).
At all is οὐ and is used to negate a statement as a fact. in this case it refers to darkness.
Observation: John is giving of the message of whom he is writing. Jesus Christ. John had used light in gospel on numerous occasions to Jesus and here parallels this to God the Father. God is light. In John 1:1-9, John writes:
1 In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
4 Life was in Him,
and that life was the light of men.
5 That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome
6 There was a man named John
who was sent from God.
7 He came as a witness
to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
8 He was not the light,
but he came to testify about the light.
9 The true light, who gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world.
He has already established in his Gospel that Jesus is the light of the world. He is the source of our illumination and here he is reminding that Jesus, being God, is light and there is no darkness in Him at all. Just as the Father is light and in Him there is no darkness at all. God has given us a message of hope and truth. He has revealed this to us through scripture, as well in the person of Jesus Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit. To sum it up God is light; in there is no darkness at all. We have the ability to understand spiritual truth, but our own knowledge is not the way to understanding. It is God who brings us to this place of understanding as He illuminates His message and gives us understanding.
Father, today we simply say thank you. For You are our source of light, truth, illumination, understanding and hope. You have shown us that we are sinful people and in our rebellion, sin and darkness we cannot understand. But in your mercy you have shined your light in the darkness. Praise be to you, and Glory be to God, for we do not deserve your mercy. But in your goodness, You have given it. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.
God bless you,