Sermons

Summary: details responses to God's gift

“The Surprising Gift”

John 1:1-14

David P. Nolte

Have you ever received a gift you could not understand at all? Maybe something obviously “re-gifted” or at least used. I Imagine a few fruitcakes have made a number of rounds.

Maybe you received something that never made your list of top ten desired gifts. Maybe something so bizarre that you didn’t know whether to use it as a doorstop or boat anchor.

At any rate something that made you wonder about the gift-gifting-giftedness of the giver.

Oh, I know, I know, “It’s the thought that counts!” And that is true when there is thought behind the gift. And in that vein, want to tell you about a little girl who thought a long time in giving her daddy a Christmas gift.

She really wanted to give her Daddy a special Christmas present and nearly had her heart broken in the process. Her Daddy saw her cutting the gold-foil wrapping paper and ruining most of a roll. He saw her pulling long strands of tape off only to have them stick to her more than the paper. He bawled her out for wasting the expensive wrapping materials. But she was undaunted in preparing a special gift for her daddy. Obviously she had little or no money since she was only six years old. But she was old enough to understand how to make a gift appropriate to the recipient as well as the giver.

This true story provides an illustration of our Scripture text. John records the giving of God's gift of Jesus Christ and the manner in which He was accepted. Let's look to the text to see how God's greatest gift, Jesus Christ, was, and often is, received.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 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, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-14 (NASB)

As the daddy didn’t comprehend his daughter’s gift, so:

I. SOME DIDN’T RECOGNIZE GOD’S GIFT:

A. “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.”

1. They didn't know Him! Oh, they had an idea of who He was -- they knew He was Jesus; they knew his family; they knew He was the son of the carpenter.

2. But the word for "know" in this text means "to perceive, to be resolved or sure about, or to understand."

B. The Jews didn't recognize this One Who walked among them and taught them and did miracles in their midst. They accused Him of being demented, demonic and a blasphemer.

C. There are a great many misunderstandings about Jesus Christ because He is not recognized for Who He is.

1. Some think He was merely a myth, an imaginary creation of somebody's imagination like the tooth fairy or Sasquatch.

2. Some think He was formerly the Archangel Michael transformed into human form.

3. Some think He was merely a prophet in a long succession of prophets.

4. Some think He was just a good man, a moral model, a prime example.

5. Some think He was a super star who lusted after all the women in His group.

6. Some think He was a religious zealot who got Himself martyred when things got out of hand.

D. But John makes it abundantly clear that He is much more than any of those! He is the Divine Creator Who put on flesh as a human baby and came to earth Absolute Deity in Absolute Humanity as God's indescribable gift -- and for the most part, people misunderstood.

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