Summary: A sermon highlighting the absurdity of celebrating Christmas without Christ.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” John 1:11 KJV
“He came to what was his own, yet his own folk did not welcome him.” John 1:11 James Moffatt Translation
“He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own-His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him.” John 1:11 The Amplified Bible
Imagine, if you will, that you have been invited to a party; a birthday party. All of your friends, loved-ones, acquaintances and some of your enemies are in attendance. The place is all decorated and adorned with the trimmings for the gala affair. The gifts are in abundance and everyone seems to be having a good time! But, wait a minute, something is wrong! It suddenly occurs to you that everybody is at this party except the birthday person; the guest of honor! You inquire to the host as to the whereabouts of the honoree, and much to your dismay, you discover that the guest of honor was not even invited to his own birthday celebration! Furthermore, you discover that not only was he not invited, should he happen to show up, he would not be welcomed! Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But, is this not the case with many of our Christmas celebrations today? It seems as if this world is determined to celebrate a Christ-less Christmas! Although he is the reason for the season, in many homes he is not welcome. Many have X-ed him out and replaced the babe in a manger with a fat man in a red suit! Now, I don’t mean to be a scrooge, but I think we ought to be more mindful of the real reason for this season.
Some commentators have said that the verse of our text is perhaps one of the saddest in the Bible. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not!” Let’s take a few minutes now to take a closer look at this text and see what application it has for us today. First of all, notice that the text says, “He came!” Oh! What a wonderful statement! He came! He came! God breaking into the plane of human existence! He came! Because we were unable to go to Him; He came to us! He came! The Word of God manifested in the flesh! He came! God intervening into human history to give us HIS-Story! For ages, God had been telling men the way, with the advent of Jesus, He provided a living illustration to show us the Way! He came! God’s idea manifested in the flesh; the embodiment of the faith. He came! Immanuel; “God with us!” Oh, I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that He came. Because He came, I can have life and have it more abundantly! Because He came, I can face tomorrow! Because He came, life is worth the living! Oh! I’m so glad that He came!
Yes! He came! He came unto His own! He came unto His own world. John wrote: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” It was His own because He was active in creation! He was there when the statement was made, “Let us make man!” Hebrews says that the world is upheld by the word of His power! Yes! He came unto His own world; His own creation, and His own creation did not receive Him! The Creator was rejected by the creature!
He came unto His own people! He was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. In Matthew’s gospel, it is reported that Jesus sent out the disciples with instructions to go not the way of the Gentiles, but rather to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. One day a Syrophenician woman came to Jesus seeking his help, to whom Jesus replied, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” He came unto His own people, but overall, He was rejected by them. Even his own family had doubts about him, John 7: 5 says that even his own brothers did not believe in him.
But not only was he not welcomed by his own creation and his own people, he was not welcomed by his own religion. The scriptures that the Pharisees and scribes studied testified of Jesus, yet the religious authorities refused to acknowledge him as the Messiah! Yes! He came unto His own!
He came unto his own and his own received him not! Yes! His own rejected the Christ and crucified him upon a Roman cross. His own refused to acknowledge him as the Messiah! His own refused to accept him as Lord. But why? Why was it that he came unto his own and his own received him not?