This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (ESV)
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. (KJV)
Greek: Καὶ ἔστιν αὕτη ἡ ἀγγελία ἣν ἀκηκόαμεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀναγγέλλομεν ὑμῖν, ὅτι ὁ θεὸς φῶς ἐστιν καὶ σκοτία ἐν αὐτῷ οὐκ ἔστιν οὐδεμία.
Transliterated Greek: Kai estin hautē hē angelia hēn akēkoamen ap’ autou kai anangellomen hymin, hoti ho theos phōs estin kai skotia en autō ouk estin oudemia.
Literal Word for Word Translation: and this is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.
Commentary: Isaiah 49:6 says, he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.” The light of God is to bring about salvation to the ends of the earth. John 1:4-5 says, 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. This light that brings salvation is the eternal life.
After John stresses that the eternal life that was made manifest before him and others, the word of life, was a real live person that could be heard, seen, and touched, he points out the message that was heard from this manifested life – that, “God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.” While God is bathed in light (Mt 17:2; Ps 104:2), this light John speaks of is that which brings life from death. Light reveals while darkness conceals. In the Gospels, light is the source and support of life and truth, whereas darkness results in chaos, decay, death, and error. Light in the life brings conviction and exposes sin. Darkness hides sin and encourages deception. Lovers of sin want to stay in the darkness and do not want to be exposed (Jn. 3:19-21). This will be even more evident in the next few verses.
When John says “in Him is no darkness at all,” we are to understand that there is no chaos, no deception, no falsehood, nothing that leads to death in God. We cannot go wrong listening to this light from God! And to think that the light that gives life dwelled among men. His light was extinguished for only 3 days, before it erupted out of the tomb so that all men throughout the world could come to receive and bask in the light.