In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5
Naturally, women evaluate their potential for childbearing by things they can see. We take into account things like our marital status, age, genetics, health, fertility, and access to reproductive technology.
Supernaturally, as women who have been born again into the new creation, we understand that our nurturing abilities find their fulfillment as we make disciples of Jesus. A Christian woman’s potential to nurture spiritual life is not connected to biological markers or marriage. Women who are part of the new humanity look to Christ, see his unparalleled potential to multiply his offspring, and make disciples by his Spirit.
Where can we go to see Christ’s power and gain confidence in him to make disciples?
In just a few short verses at the beginning of John’s gospel, we learn that Jesus is deity and he is the beginning-- the Creator of all things. Now, in verses 4 and 5, John is starting to explain how Jesus is also the source and inaugurator of a new creation. By the Word of God, light shone into the darkness at the first creation. Once again, by the Word of God, divine light is now shining, but this time it shines on men who are lost in darkness and gives them new life.
The people of Israel were told that this Light was coming: “. . . darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you” (Isa. 60:2-3). This “light of men” would not be for only one people group, but for the whole world. Isaiah foretold that the nations would come to see the brightness of his rising.
Jesus is the Creator of the cosmos, and he is the source of the new creation as well. The darkness did not overcome Jesus at the first creation. Surely this present darkness will not overcome Jesus now as he is giving new creation life to men, women, and children across the globe, causing them to be born again into his new humanity.
We cannot possibly be overconfident in Christ’s ability to fulfill his mission. We have every reason to be incurably hopeful as we make disciples. Do not look to the things you can see to measure your potential for ministry. Do not look to the news headlines to evaluate the effectiveness of missions. Do not look to your biology to envision your impact in the kingdom. Do not look to your fertility to conceive of what Christ can do through you in raising up spiritual offspring.
The divine Light who has broken into the darkness of this world, and the new creation that is coming in his wake, will surely overcome every shadow in every corner of the globe. Jesus is delighted to call and equip women to nurture life as he creates a new humanity, multiplies his offspring, and subdues the darkness.
Suggestions for Prayer
- Pray that God would give you eyes to see his Son’s ongoing, insurmountable work in this dark world.
- Pray that God would grant mercy to your lost neighbors, friends, and family, and that he would use you to shine the light of Christ in their lives.
- Pray that God would strengthen your faith and build your confidence in Christ, granting you boldness to announce his gospel.
Gloria Furman is a wife, mother of four, cross-cultural worker, and writer. In 2008 her family moved to the Middle East to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai where her husband, Dave, serves as the pastor. She is the author of Glimpses of Grace, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full, The Pastor’s Wife, Missional Motherhood, and Alive in Him (forthcoming).