Summary: God has placed the enabling to comprehend Jesus as the true Light of the World within each person. Though many will reject Him and others will receive Him into their life, all have been designed with the capacity to recognize Him for who He is.
JOHN 1: 9-13
HOW TO BECOME A CHILD OF GOD
What an astonishing fact that God would come to earth, wrap Himself in human flesh and take up a human nature. Yet He most certainly did become a human being.
There is another even more astonishing fact than the incarnation of God. When God became flesh and dwelt among us, men rejected Him. There He was God in human form revealing Himself to men to identify with their needful condition, and men rejected His way, they rejected His word, and they rejected Him.
The tragedy of man’s rejection of God even when He powerfully reveals Himself to them still occurs today. The good news though is that those who will recognize and receive Him as the Lord of Life are born again into the family of God (CIT).
With which group are you identified? With those who push Christ away from their life, or with those who receive Christ into their life? Do you fellowship with those who reject Jesus because of what He stands for, or with those who receive Him and follow Him because of who He is and what He does?
I. JESUS REVEALED, 9-10b.
II. JESUS REJECTED, 10c-11.
III. JESUS RECEIVED, 12-13.
Our text begins with the all-inclusive supernatural revelation of the Christ in the inner person in verse 9. “There was the true Light which coming into the world enlightens every person.”
John begins his thought with why the world should recognized Christ with the fact that Jesus is the true Light. His light is the genuine, the authentic, the real - the original of which every other light is a pale copy. Other lights flicker of truth and some give faint glimpses of reality, but Christ is the genuine Light. He is the light that brings real illumination to men about the reason for life and the purpose of life and the true reality about life.
Each man coming into the world has experienced the true light. Christ has given a general illumination to man. This light of reason or understanding has been bestowed universally by Jesus so that each man has the understanding needed to realize their lostness and need for salvation and understand that it is found in Jesus Christ alone. This universal illumination justifies God judgement of man for turning away from Christ instead of toward Him (Rom. 1: 20-21). He is the Logos who enlightens every person. This enlightening is innate, a priori, or inborn within man. It is stronger than the revelation of God in creation or the consciousness of right and wrong which God has built into man. Scholars call it God’s general illumination of man. It is the truth that men must suppress within themselves in order to choose darkness. Yet, as our text says the true light enlightens every man. God bestows this truth within man because He desires all to come to repentance not desiring that any would perish (2 Pet. 3: 9). No man is destitute of the illumination of this light, for God has revealed something of Himself to all men (3:18–21; 9:39–41; 16:8–11; Rom. 1:20-22).
Verse 10 begins by speaking of Christ as the Creator purposefully coming into the world to reveal Himself to mankind. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him.”
The pre-existent Christ was in the world because He created it and was the true light shining within man. He was in the world also because He was born into the world.
The second point of verse 10 is a reminder that the world owes its very existence to Him. The world was made through Him (1:3). Since the world came into existence by Him it certainly should have recognized Him when He appeared in its midst. Creation is marked by His nature and character. Man himself was created in His image (Gen. 1:26). Brute beasts might not recognize their Creator in the flesh, but certainly a world of intelligent, reasoning men should recognize Him and give Him worship and thanksgiving.
II. JESUS REJECTED (10c-11).
The concluding phrase in verse10 describes a world under the rulership, the darkness, the blindness of Satan (14:30) living in rebellion against its Creator. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him....and the world did not know Him.”
The world of men and human society rejected God’s exposure of awareness concerning Christ’s real nature when Jesus revealed Himself to bear witness to them. No effort is made to explain this tragic non-recognition, maybe because no sufficient, or justifiable explanation is possible. The rejection of its Creator by the world is an unreasonable act. He that is the Word, the Light, and the Life could have overcome all deafness, blindness, and deadness. The world refused to acknowledge Jesus for whom the triune God bore witness to them that He is, the Lord of Creation and the Lord of all life. He was in the world, and the world came into being by Him, and yet the world refused to acknowledge Him (Ps 100:3).They wanted their darkness and self-deception (Jn. 3:19, 8:12). The world wanted its own way instead of His way. He was not the kind of King they wanted or want to follow or serve.