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.
Life is full of mysteries which we can’t easily explain with our human understanding. One of these is the profound truth that God came to us in the flesh and dwelt among us. We can’t fathom, humanly speaking, how this happened. What we can begin to grasp from our reading today is what God was doing through Jesus’ incarnation and how we should respond.
God’s dwelling among us was to open the door to His household, to give entrance into His family. The right to become children of God is not automatic. It is a right bestowed by God alone. Our choice, our will, our purposes are all subject to God’s right to include us in His family. What we do need is to hear His offer to be born again, receive it and believe in the name of Jesus Christ (God in the flesh). Our entrance is based only on us receiving and embracing what God has done through Jesus, namely His incarnation, His life, death and resurrection. This further immerses us in the unfathomable reality that Jesus, God dwelling among us, lived to die so that we can be called ‘sons of God.’ Let that sink in!
The more deeply this truth sinks in, the more deeply we should be shaken and saddened by our reception, as humanity, of our God visiting us. For the welcome we gave Him, and give Him all to often, is to not recognise Him nor welcome Him, “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him” (v11). It’s one thing to brush off another person, it’s quite another to brush off our Creator. What a sad and disturbing truth: God condescended to us and for us, and we couldn’t even muster up a worthy welcome.
In light of all John 1 puts before us, we need to constantly be asking the questions, have I welcomed God? Will I continue to welcome Him in every area of my life? Will I honour Him daily? Will my worship of Him match His worthiness? There is no-one more worthy of honour, praise and adoration as the one who came to dwell among us, God come in the flesh.