Daily Word

Amazing transformation | John 1:9-13

9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:9-13 (ESV)

This Light

John now continues with the light and provides more insight. This light:

  • Is true light. Remember John is using light as a metaphor for knowledge and understanding about God. This light, Jesus, is “very light” in the King James English sense – the real deal. Not just a source of light, but light. 
  • Provides light (understanding of God) to everyone, the whole world. It’s not just restricted to the Jews.
  • Was coming, and came, into the world. Here John is describing the light as the person of Jesus rather than “understanding”. In v14 we’ll see the statement of incarnation – the Word became flesh and lived among us.
  • Was not known by those He came to. This is the irony of His advent – He came to what He created and His creation didn’t know who He was.
  • Was not received by His own. Not only didn’t His creation not recognize Him, His own (meaning the Jews) didn’t receive Him. They knew who He was but chose not to receive Him, to accept Him.
  • Gives the right to become God’s children. He has the authority to give His creation the right to move from created creatures to children of the Creator! Imagine that. This is an unimaginable transformation of position and identity. This right is only given to those who receive Him and believe in His name, believe He is God, the Lord, the Creator. Just checking – have you received Him? Have you believed in His name?

Amazing transformation

These created beings (you and me) can become children of God. 1 John 3:1 reiterates we are children of God. It does not happen by being a descendant of Abraham (or Christian parents), nor the effort of any person by their own power or ability (or good works), not by anyone else doing it on behalf of another. “This new birth must come through the will of God through his own unlimited power and boundless mercy, prescribing salvation by Christ Jesus alone.” (Clarke’s commentary)

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