9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
(John 1:9-13 NIV)
As we continue through the prologue to the Apostle John’s Gospel, John moves on from introducing John the Baptizer and focuses again on Jesus as the central theme and focus of his writings.
The Apostle John announces Jesus as the light of the universe and reminds us that Jesus came to earth to share His light of hope and salvation to a dark and hurting world (v. 9).
The Apostle John began his Gospel account as a preacher and storyteller (vv. 1-5). He continued as a narrator when he introduced John the baptizer (vv. 6-8). He now switches to another voice, that of praise and worship for Jesus as Messiah (vv. 10-ff).
While the Apostle John uses a teaching/text form to record verses 10-13, singer/songwriter Michael Card finds a more lyrical and musical form in these same verses:
10 He was in the world,
and the world was created through Him,
yet the world did not recognize Him.
11 He came to His own,
and His own people did not receive Him.
12 But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born,
not of blood,
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,
but of God.
(John 1:10-13, Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Notice the pure, transparent, and profound truths John records about Jesus as Messiah. And see how John contrasts those truths with the brokenness and misunderstanding we had before we came to Jesus, even to the point of rejecting Him.
But not all reject Him. Some hear the sweet and simple melodic calling of Messiah among all the off-key and dissonant sounds flooding our worlds. And Messiah rewards our pilgrim faith by inviting us into the family, into the community of the Trinity.
John reminds us that this transformation is from God, by faith, and it is nothing that we can will, demand, or create on our own. It is a gift from God Himself.
So what is our response to Messiah?
Do we still experience Him as our teacher as we store away facts about the Incarnation in our heads?
Or do we, like Michael Card suggests, experience Messiah through every fiber of our being, as a haunting and ethereal melody that reaches out and captivates us and touches the deepest part of our soul, the innermost part of our being?
May we ponder the mystery and simplicity of Messiah, God with us.
And may our worship reflect the wonder we find in Him.