Rejection of Light
He was not the light, (referring to John the Baptist) but was sent to bear witness of that light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own and His own id not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:8-13
It is God’s desire to place before all mankind enough evidence of Himself and His great love that each person will have the evidence necessary to decide to follow Him. Therefore, God uses the wonders of nature and His written word to shed light upon His character.
Christ being the true light, therefore came to this world to shed light on the true nature and character of God the Father. From the time Lucifer was found to have iniquity in his heart, he has accused God of having the character traits that he, Lucifer, has harbored within his own heart.
To counter this attack upon His character, God the Father cannot use force, coercion, trickery bribery or the promise of reward, for if He does, then the accusation of Satan about God’s Character are true. The only weapon God the Father has at his disposal is His overwhelming love for all mankind. It is Satan who uses all the above character traits and then instills them upon mankind. As is says in Jeremiah 31:3; “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
Therefore He (the Word) was in the world and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. This is why God the Father first chose a people to represent his Character to the world. Deuteronomy 7:7 says, “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” Who is this text referring to? Why of course it was the descendants of Abraham through his son Isaac. The children of Israel. He had been with them, guided them through the wilderness and had given them every advantage, even to the extent of supplying all their physical and spiritual needs, but alas, they too had rejected God.
Therefore, Christ the Word, the very Son of God, had come to His own, born as a baby and as a Jew, that he might show them the true love of the father. But as the scriptures say and history proves, “His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11).
God the father desired to establish Israel as a nation at the cross roads of the ancient world. His desire was to bless them in a way that would cause other nations to desire to learn more about their God. Upon seeing the character of God reproduced in his people, then other nations and people would choose for themselves to follow the God of the Israelites. Not because of the blessings that were given to the Israelite nation, but because they as a nation and people would reflect to the world the true character of God.
But Israel failed to follow God’s commandments and laws which reflects God’s character. They instead substituted the character of Satan for that of God. This is why the Israelite nation had become subject to other nations. Their influence for Good had been reduced to nothing more than a troublesome nation, a nation in which the Romans hated. They rejected God’s love and when God sent His Son to this world to show them God’s love and character, they rejected Him, resulting in their asking the Romans to crucify Him.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born not of the blood nor the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” We as Christians can be thankful for that word “But”. Because Israel rejected Christ, all mankind Jew and Gentile alike have the opportunity to become sons and daughters of God. As God strove with ancient Israel, he now strives with all mankind to reproduce His character in the heart of all his faithful followers.
God and all of heaven are looking for people who will accept Christ, not as just a good man or even as a prophet, but will accept Jesus as the Son of God, sent of God to be the Messiah.
John here brands as error the belief that simply because Christ died for all men, all will therefore be saved. Marked as equally false is the belief that God predestines certain men to be saved and others to parish in everlasting death. But the truth is that the decisive factor regarding one’s salvation lies not with God, but with us. “As many” as receive and believe are granted access to sonship. (Concerning predestination see further on Isaiah 55:1; Ephesians 1:5; Revelation 22:17).
To each is given the power of choice. This is not to be confused with power in the usual sense (see John 5:27) for the Greek word exousia, which is translated as “right” in verse 12 should rightly be translated “authority.” Because of sin, man had lost all his rights and deserved the penalty of death. The plan of salvation restored man’s opportunity to know God and to choose to serve him. It gave to each person the authority to choose for himself who he or she will serve.
The expression “The Sons and Daughters of God” is used often by John in his writings. (see John 11:52; I John 3:1, 2, 10; and I John 5:2).
There is one other aspect of this we have not touched on yet but will soon explore, which is John’s use of the word believe, but we will save this aspect or teaching for another time.
We will next explore how the Word became Flesh in our next post.