Late in 2016, I unsuccessfully began working my way through John 1:1-18 in a series of posts. I originally planned to publish these posts as a Christmas series focused on the beautiful incarnation of Jesus Christ, but I failed. So I am now (finally) going to try to finish out.
So far, we’ve been introduced to the preeminent Christ, described by John as the Word. The Word is eternal, and played a part in creation. In fact, “All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made” (1:3). We’ve also been introduced to the greatest prophet, John the Baptist who “came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him (1:7).
As we move forward, through John’s prologue, the focus shifts back to the true light, Jesus Christ.
This light, Jesus Christ, is described as being “in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.” Throughout this first chapter, John consistently reminds us of the humanity and incarnation of Jesus Christ. Jesus existed into eternity past, was involved in creation, and then “emptied himself, by taking the form of of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Phil 2:7).” So the eternal Son of God became man, and, while retaining his full deity, came to the earth. He lived as a carpenter. He lived in Nazareth of Galilee. The King of the Universe on earth, but not recognized by man. The world did not know him; his own people rejected him. Jesus was despised and rejected by men – those who had known him for his entire life, I’m sure. Their eyes were not opened to see Jesus as the Messiah.
Verses 12 and 13 offer a different look, though. Not everyone who came into contact with Jesus rejected him. Not everyone despised our Lord. Some received him, and those are the ones to whom Jesus “gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” Jesus is speaking of those in whom the Spirit of God moved, and accepted Christ as Messiah rather than rejecting him. These people, the sheep of the Great Shepherd, become children of God and are reborn of God. They are not reborn of their own will, or of flesh, or of blood, but of the will and purpose of God.
We would reject Christ if not for the Spirit opening our eyes and ears to see and hear the message of the gospel. Jesus, the true light, came into the world, and, if we continue in our own natural and fleshy will, we would reject him with everyone else who has rejected him throughout time. Thank God that he opens our eyes, saves us by his marvelous, glorious grace, and orders our steps by his will.