Jesus, the Light of Men
In 1866, Robert J Thomas left from China on a mission to bring the gospel to Korea. He loved the Korean and he wanted to be able to share the Gospel with them and allow it to turn them closer to Jesus He got aboard an American Ship headed to Pyongyang with a huge supply of Chinese Bibles. As they got closer to Korea a fight broke out between the American ship and the Korean coast guard. The ship was burned, and all the passengers were killed except for Thomas. He somehow managed to reach the shore with what Bibles he could carry. When Korean soldiers came to thomas he thrust the Bibles he had into their hands. After which they clubbed him to death. And this is a shocking account of what can happen to a person that is sharing the light in the midst of darkness… This is not dissimilar from the story of Jesus coming into the world and what we have John telling us here in the prologue… Mr. Thomas and the true light with him… and they still killed him.... lets look at oru verses from today
and what the world
Christ was the Light
Start with verse 9
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
Now you have to remember that John is now trying to explain overall how different Jesus is from the world, he is contrasting Jesus with the darkness… and here he is breaking it down to everyone and he is again saying, Jesus is the true light. But remember where this just came from… we just talked about John the Baptist last week and how that relate s to us… and look at the last two verses
7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
So he is creating this contrast… Yes what John was doing was good… yes his information was good, but he was not the TRUE light… and there were people in that day that were trying to point to themselves as being the true light… they would say, they were going to be able to
Let’s be a little bit honest.... here is what John the Baptist was doing… he was in his teachings attempting to
Reveal God to men
He was pointing people to Jesus and showing them that he was God....
Guide a man out of the darkness of sin and shame...
Telling them Jesus was the light and the way to get out of the darkness… showing that he was the answer to their sin and shame...
29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Do away with and eliminate the darkness entirely
34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
His mission: to give Light to the WORLD
9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.
So what does the world mean in this sentence? For so many when we think about this sentence we think about the PHYSICAL world, especially when we read verse 10…
But what about in contrast to John 3:16
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
When we read this it becomes abundantly clear that when we are talking about the World, he is talking about People… and John in his love of contrasts, tends to use “the world” as a contrast to the Jewish people… its what is meant by the Samaritan people, you know the half-bloods.... when they say of Jesus, “We know that this is indeed the savior of the world.” in 4:42. And the point that John is trying to make is that Jesus came for EVERYONE… not just the Jews.... this means Jesus came to give light to your life and it doesn’t matter what your background is. So let’s see what we learn in the next verse about the World.
2. Christ was tragically rejected by the world
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
There are so many truths in this.
He was the Creator.
What we will learn to see is the word world will begin to be contrasted with John as the difference in the people who don’t follow Jesus and those who do… the people outside the will are of “the world” 1 John 2:17
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
And so John 1:10 is a huge problem for people, because it says the world didn’t know him, didn’t know their creator.... so the real question is why does the world not know Jesus? I think there are two reasons.
They don’t recognize him, and this isn’t a physical problem, this is a spiritual sense in which they don’t know him. I love the way Herman Ridderbos explains it, “The world to which the [Word] came was his own creation. The world did not know him, not because he was a stranger but because it was estranged from him…The world SHOULD have known.”
Seneka story… He know me… but he was estranged from me… we hadnt been around each other for a long time so he didn’t recognize me for who I am today… and let me stop and say some of you have the same story, you can’t outlive your past, people just see who you were ten years ago, and they don’t recognize you now… and this is the problem we have we Jesus.... this is the problem the world has with Jesus.... they don’t recognize him… they havent been close to him in so long they don’t know his heart so they see him as something he is not… they know the name Jesus… but dont know him
b. You know the other reason we don’t recognize him? They didn’t want him…because the world loves her own sin… and Jesus is a direct contradiction to that sin… that’s why we see in John 3:19
19 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.
And it is exceptionally easy to look back at this generation, and think how in the world could they have seen Jesus doing all that he did, all the miracles, all the truth, and still not recognize him. But the same is true of us… We have this entire library of writings we call the bible that lists out and tells us everything about him, but we refuse to recognize him as who he is… So what does it say about us spiritually if even the rocks and seas recognize Jesus as Lord and God, but we don’t. If we can learn something from this great truth in the bible about his deity and holiness yet choose a life of unbelief and not to follow him, what could possibly condemn us more in the sight of God.
“There is no one more excellent than Jesus Christ, and no calling more worthy than his call to faith and discipleship. SO what could be more dreadful than to love darkness instead of light? What could be worse than to see Christ, and leave him unknown? Understand, then, that if you will not know Christ, then Christ will not know you, Jesus warned, ‘Unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.’” - Richard Phillips
11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
And this is crazy to us, because we know they should have known… they were waiting for this Messaih that had be prophesied to come and change it all, but they didn’t want anything to do with him
34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.
29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
They were confronted with Jesus, the answer to their questions and they still didn’t do what they needed to do....but what we know from 1 corinthians 1 is that the gospel message is a stumbing block to some… we can’t get passed it… Friends… I cant follow Jesus, I am a horrible person… they have knowledge of Christ… but wont follow him.. they don’t RECOGNIZE HIM.
He was in the world but was rejected
He came to his own people but they rejected Him
So we find that
3.Christ was wonderfully received by some
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.
And what we see is the message of Christ and our response to that message is is what divides mankind… There are many other things that we would like to talk about dividing us, and I think thats a tool of the enemy to get us to divide amongst ourselves and not look at the most improtatnt things… but here we find that it is what we do with the message of this light… that seperates us from the darkness and its the only thing that truly makes sense.
I love how Charles Spurgeon puts it.
“Were an angel to come here with a drawn sword, and suddenly to separate the righteous from the wicked with one stroke, you would find that his sword had for its edge the question, ‘Believest thou in the Lord Jesus Christ?’”
Because here is the truth, many of us will say we believe in Jesus… but what we mean is we believe he existed, and maybe even appreciate his teachings in a sense. But that is not what receiving him is talking about in vs 12, and does not constitute a saving faith.
We must… abc
And this is a problem because for so many of us… we try to give our kids our faith… we think that will save them… and they go to college and it changes… we have to do something with it… becasue as John tells us, our faith was not born of blood… its not because of who we are… and hear that this a is a HUGE message to the Jews… he is telling them its not just for them… but it was born through God… he is who saved us because as Spurgeon said, “Sin runs in the blood, grace does not.”
We have to realize we carry a message a bout the light… but the light it makes us not… we can shine it around… but we are not it… and we must also come completely into the light… its the only way we will ever get out of darkness
How: By Believing
Result: Became Sons of God
The source o becoming a child of God: A New Birth
It was not of Man
It was of God