Faithlife Sermons

The Unknown Christ

The Gospel of John  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  0:22
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Think back to school doing a group school project.
Have you ever been the person who did most of the work?
Have you ever had some
Transition: There are two reactions to how Jesus has shown himself

The Unknown Jesus Vs. 9-11

In verse 9 Jesus is the light that came to be light for everyone

Vs. 9 As we talked about last week, we mentioned that Jesus comes to give light to everyone.
which gives light to everyone = means to “give knowledge, either inwardly or outwardly.

In verse 10 Jesus is the the light that was unknown by his creation

If one of the greatest things ever to happen was Jesus coming to enlighten the world, the greatest tragedy to happen is in verse 10.
Vs. 10 in the world meaning humanity.
even though Jesus was in the world, he was walking with them and among them. He is Emmanuel, God with Us, the World did not know him.
and his own people did not receive him.
They belong to him because he created them and even though he created them, humanity rejects him. But what you see, is that even humanity is fallen and in darkness, humanity, you and me, are still objects of the love of God because he still came into the world. The people are morally responsible to the World because the Word made them. Yet we see that humanity rejects the one who created them. The world has turned away from God to deceit and delusion.
Why does the world not know Jesus?
The world isn’t a stranger, but estranged from Jesus. In the Bible we see that nature knows Jesus as Creator and obeys his voice (Mark 4:35-41).
Mark 4:39 ESV
And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
The fact that humanity doesn’t also recognize them, even though we are created by him, tells that because of our sin we are spiritually dead. And it’s because of that, that humanity is estranged from Jesus.
The World didn’t want to. It’s a moral reason for not knowing Jesus. The world did not recognize God’s Son because it did not want him. The world instead loves sin, and Jesus is a threat to sin. John 3:19
John 3:19 ESV
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
If you really want to learn something about the world around you, watch how they reject Jesus. But think about it for you and your spiritual deadness if Nature responds to the very word of Jesus, but you don’t.
My interest in Sports vs my interest in technology. It’s not that I don’t try, but it doesn’t get me as excited. With Jesus, I could talk about him all day long. Look at what we have just learned about who he is in 10 short verses. But when you aren’t interested in what Jesus has to offer, you won’t take any interest in knowing him, and it is not persuaded to believe in him or motivated to follow where he leads. A lot can be said from watching someone. “Tell me what you are learning about who our God is as you spend time in his Word.” In our D-Groups, and our upcoming Community Groups, this is a key question that is being asked.

In verse 11 we see that Jesus is the light for everyone who was rejected by some

Vs. 11 He came to his own (lit. to his own property) all of humanity. This verse is talking about the unbelief of his own people, the Israelites. He came to a people that was particularly his, a people he brought out of slavery in Egypt, brought them to the promised land, gave them the Ten Commandments and promises, but the didn’t believe on him, or receive him, but actually rejected and crucified him. This makes the sin of those who “did not receive him.” more sinful, more intense.


The true light came into the world to enlighten everyone. Yes, Jesus was not received but rejected, and he is still being rejected. It’s like the world is trying to crucify him over and over again. But it is the glory of the gospel that the light of Christ does not go out, for it is the light of the ever-living Son of God.
John 1:5 ESV
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
And it never will.
So let us shine the light, telling people about Jesus, risking our comfort and reputations—and, yes, if needed, even our lives. Let us take Christ to those who do not know him—whether around the corner or around the world. Despite every kind of opposition—spiritual darkness, moral evil, ingratitude, and pride—let us believe the power that Jesus has to overcome the greatest opposition. For though the world does not know him, he will make himself known to many through us so that they will join us as bearers of Christ’s light and we will together live and walk in that light forever.
Transition: What you need to get here in these first verses is that if you will not know Christ, then Christ will not know you. Jesus warns us that
John 8:24 ESV
I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.”
So for me, one of the amazing things of the Bible, is that I can be known by the one who created all things. I can be known by the one who by his word created all things.

The Known Children Vs. 12-13

Children of God are those who believe in Jesus.

Vs. 12 But to all who did receive him This is the positive side of what Jesus is doing. Jesus gives those who receive him authority to become God’s children; they were not so by nature (contrary to what some may say, not all people are God’s children. fallen humanity are not God’s children by nature; this is the privilege only of those who have faith. And this is a faith that is generated in them by the sovereign act of God), but became such by authorization of the Jesus.
This is adoption. What is adoption?
It’s a legal transfer from one family or situation into another. Look, to not recieve Jesus is to remain in the situation you were in before. What is your situation outside of Jesus? Hell. Sin separates us from God. That’s what Jesus is our propition as Romans 3:21-25
Romans 3:21–25 ESV
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
What does that mean? To reject Jesus is to accept the full wrath of God. To receive Jesus is to accept the Jesus as the one who absorbs that wrath. When you Christian, received Jesus, you were transfered. You were given the right to be the child of God. Not an object of his wrath, but a child of God.
Ephesians 2:2–6 ESV
in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
How do you become a Child of God?
who believe in his name It is the acceptance of Jesus as he has fully shown himself in his word. Again, this is why John writes in John 20:31
John 20:31 ESV
but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
What does it mean to receive him?
If you have received Jesus, this is who you are. This is the reason to get up in the morning. This is the reason to sing praises to our God. They may come through tears. The songs may come in hard times. But this truth is unchanging. Our circumstances don’t change the fact of this truth. In Christ, If you have received Christ, you are a child of God. The one who spoke all of this into being has also called you yours. In the deepest of dispair to the highest of joys. Jesus has given you the right to be a child of God. He has done that for you. All you did was receive him, and that faith to believe, wasn’t even yours, it was a gift.
Ephesians 2:8 ESV
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
Come to Jesus doesn’t mean life will get better or all your problems will go away. But it does mean you will be with Jesus. There’s a cost to following him, so you need to count it. But anything that cost nothing isn’t worth having, and Jesus is better than anything you can get. The Apostle Paul in the Bible, doesn’t pray for a change of circumstances, but a change of perspective.
Father, in the midst of suffering, let me see who I am in you. When life gets cloudy, let me see who I am in you. When life seems like it can’t get any better, remind me that I am yours and not what I am by what I have.
Have you received Jesus today?
Are you resting in him being the only one who can make you right before a holy God.
Christ died for your sins and rose again. Which is why verse 13 says:

Children of God are those who born of God.

Vs. 13 Who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. This is all the work of God. The successive phrases contrast birth from God with human begetting, and emphasize the inability of men and women to reproduce it. Which means it doesn’t matter who your momma or poppa are or who your grandmama or grandpapa were or are. It’s all from God.


To be born of God is to experience the most profound change.
2 Peter 1:4 ESV
by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
By receiving Jesus, you have been given a new spiritual DNA: a new principle and a new power within. We have new and godly desires and a new perspective on life and eternity. To be born of God is not to have all our problems solved or all our sinful tendencies removed. But it is to have the spiritual ability and desire to know God, worship him, and do his will. And with this profound change comes a new obligation to live as the true counterculture that trusts and glorifies God.
There’s a French saying that means “nobility obliges.” The point is that if we enjoy great privileges, we have great responsibilities, too. This is especially true of God’s children.
How can a child of God live only for money or pride or pleasure?
How can he permit anger to rule his heart?
How can a true Christian be unfaithful or live dishonestly?
How can one who has been forgiven hold on to a critical spirit toward others or not forgive others?
How can we have fellowship with darkness or participate in the shameful sins of the world?
Yes, we become God’s children through faith in Christ alone: “To all who did receive him … he gave the right to become children of God.” But it is by the lives that we lead that we show what family we belong to.
There is no greater distinction than faith in Christ, no higher privilege than to become a child of God, and no more profound change than to be born of God. Now we must live up to our calling by the grace and power that God gives to his family. Peter writes,
1 Peter 2:12 ESV
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

So What?

BI: As those who are known Christ, let us god out making him known.
So let us shine the light, telling people about Jesus, risking our comfort and reputations—and, yes, if needed, even our lives. Why? because we have something better that can never be taken away.
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