The World Did Not Receive Him (John 1:5,10-11)

The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. — John 1:5,10-11 (NIV)

These are perhaps some of the saddest verses of the Bible. God does something earth-shattering — He comes into the world to rescue people from the prison in which they are held captive. But when He comes, instead of cheers for their imminent rescue and gratitude to their brave rescuer, they do not even recognize what is happening and who it is that is there for them. People had become so accustomed to darkness that light was a very foreign concept to them. They once knew light, and their essential nature was light, but that part of their nature that should have and could have recognized Him failed to. Instead, they rejected Him.

How disappointing this had to be for Jesus, to try to rescue His very own, and yet fail — except in a few cases. How have you felt when you have been rejected by people, especially those you really cared about? It hurts, and it can be enough to destroy you, to turn you inside yourself, and to acquiesce in their belief about you. Or perhaps such rejection would turn you to bitterness, or to seek revenge. It is only a person who is strong inside and who knows who he or she is that can come through rejection and be able to stand.

How sad this was for those who rejected Him. If only they had grasped who it was before them and what it was He offered, they could have been set free from their prisons and had life abundantly. It was a fate of their own choosing, but the tragedy of the situation is enormous.

First posted on November 21, 2009


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