9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
Verse 9 made me reflect (no pun intended) upon whenever candles are passed around, usually at a Christian event. Some candles are lit and in turn, someone helps light our candle and as your candle is lit, you help ignite another. In this process (I’ve seen it happen in crowds reaching thousands, quite an awesome sight), has anyone ever stopped to wonder, “who lit the first candle?” In the story of the Gospel, I imagine Christ, as John depicts here, being THE first candle and the 12 disciples being the first to reach in and have their candles lit, then turning around to others to help ignite their own candle.
We read in verse 10 a statement based on an earlier verse that tells us that the world was made through Christ, fully God, but what is tragic is that even though He created it all, He was not recognized on earth, nor was He accepted as such. After all, why would we worship a man? Good question, we wouldn’t! Christ wasn’t a mere man, but fully God, sent to use in the form of man to die for our sins. If you were, let’s say, the lead role in a play and you got really sick and had to be replaced, would they replace you with a duck? A cow? A tree? No, you would be replaced by a human, right? Christ took our place in sin so we no longer are subject to its eternal ramifications. He shouldered the burden of guilt, shame, and eternal condemnation however in order to do so, He had to become one of us.
In verse 11 I feel a bit undereducated. I say this because it is referring to the Jews rejecting Him. While I do not know the full extent of Jewish thought on not considering Him the Messiah (even though they waited over 700 years for Him), I do understand that His teachings were about the heart and soul of Jewish tradition. He tried to get the world to look beyond dogmatic law, human tradition, and rituals to remind us all of the reason for it all, the issues of the heart, in the first place. While my study bible annotates that this sentence refers to the Jews of His time on earth, I believe this extends far beyond that, since he came here for Jew and Gentile alike. I believe this refers to all mankind, since we are ALL His. Adam was His, but Adam wasn’t a Jew. You too are His…
I recently finished a book called “Radical” by David Platt. In the beginning he made an interesting observation, “We talk about accepting Christ as if He is someone who needs acceptance.” This is so true. It is not for Him that we receive His love, mercy, and forgiveness; rather it is US who need it! Why? John tells us right here: to them He gave the right to become children of God. I think too often we look at the things of this world that claim to represent God, be a descendent of God, or whatever; we let the things of this world distract us from God Himself, using it as an excuse not to seek Him out. We question the very existence of God, we constantly rebuke the sayings of man, we look at religious doctrine and organizations and use it all as an excuse to reject God in His purest form! Knock. It. Off! God won’t cease to exist just because you refuse to believe in Him. God cannot be explained away and He certainly does not conform to the things of this world or the claims of man. Don’t take my word for it or anyone else’s word for it, ASK HIM! He is the Source. He is the Truth. He is the Way. Ask God and He will reveal to you His truth and His purpose for your life. We have often heard this verse in Mathew 7, “7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” We think this refers to earthly things like food, money, a job, shelter, peace, and happiness. NO! It refers to true salvation as is reflected in Jeremiah 29, “13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
If you want to know the truth, then seek it out from the one who created the truth in the first place! By simply ignoring the truth, it does not make it untrue, does it?