You are on page 1of 3

John 1:9-13 – What it means to receive Jesus 3/16/14 Today, I want to talk about what it means to receive Jesus.

John was one of Jesus’ closest disciples. Later in his life, near the end of the first century, John wrote down his recollections of Jesus’ life in his gospel. He wrote: John 20:30-31 30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. In John’s gospel, he described how people responded to Jesus. Some welcomed Jesus and His message, and some rejected Him and looked for ways to get rid of Him. For those who received Jesus and welcomed Him, why did they do so? This is what I want to look at today. We will study three ways that we must respond to Jesus. --John begins his gospel by explaining who Jesus is. Jesus is the Word, or Logos, of God. He was with God in the beginning and the world was created through Him. He is co-equal with God the Father. This beginning of the gospel of John is one of the most important reasons that we believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. John 1:9-13 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. v9 ―The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.‖ Jesus is the true light of the world. Not only of the world, but every single person. When it seems that everything is upside down in our lives and that nothing makes sense, then we can look to Jesus to understand. He is the source of light for everyone, our hope in the darkness. Without Jesus, we are lost and cannot understand ourselves and why we are here. He is like the missing value that completes a mathematical formula. Because God sent Jesus into the world, things make sense. I can understand God’s goodness and love because of Jesus, and see that although this world is filled with sin and evil, God has a plan for redemption and restoration. I can understand how, even in the darkest times, I can look forward to the future because Jesus has prepared a place for me in heaven. v10-11 ―He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.‖ John says that when Jesus came into the world, the world did not recognize Him. Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” Many people today believe that Jesus was a

good man, a moral teacher, or even a prophet of God—but they do not recognize Jesus as the Savior sent by God into the world. Even the Jewish people who were looking forward to the Messiah did not receive Jesus as such. They should have rejoiced, but instead they crucified Him. They studied the Law and the Prophets that pointed toward Jesus’ coming, but they still missed Him. Therefore, we should be careful and pay close attention that we do not fall into the same trap. We may be born in a Christian family and go to church, but not receive Jesus. v12-13 ―Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.‖ Even though many people rejected Jesus, those that did receive Him were given the right to become children of God. Not because of who their ancestor was, or because of any other human who decided this, but because God in His sovereign will and power made them so. God could have chosen anyone for any reason, but He chose those who received Jesus and trusted in Him. Thank God that He does not choose those who will be His children on the basis of their ancestry or merit. Instead, we can access this free gift through faith. It is an incredible privilege to be called a child of God! Everything that Jesus received by obeying God, we receive also. And when He returns, we will be made like Him. John says that the best is yet to come. 1 John 3:1-2 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. How to receive Jesus So, how can we make sure that we recognize and receive Jesus? I would like to look at three things that we can do. 1. Receive Jesus as little children Matthew 18:2-4 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. First, we need to stop thinking that we know everything. Some of us may know quite a bit more than others, but even the most intelligent and wise person does not know much compared to God. Little children trust their father to give them good things. We must trust our Father in heaven in the same way and stop doubting His goodness. Whatever he tells us in His word, we believe it! John clarified that those who received Jesus were those who believed in His name. The Greek word here for “believe” is pisteuo, which is more than just mentally assenting to a fact, but putting our trust in someone.

Sometimes, we may feel down. We may feel as though we are failures and that there is no reason for God to love us or accept us. Or, we may feel that we are in a hopeless situation in our lives. This is when we need to call out the name of Jesus: “Jesus! Save me!” The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” That’s it. That’s a good promise. 2. Recognize Jesus by loving others Did you notice that many people who should have recognized Jesus did not? Jesus told the parable of the sheep and the goats to explain how people either recognized him or not. He said to the sheep who were welcomed into the kingdom of God, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me.” “When did we do these things?” they replied. “Whenever you did these things to the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me,” Jesus answered. The Jewish people were expecting a triumphant king, but Jesus was born in a manger and rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey. He washed His disciples feet and died a shameful death on the cross for our sakes. Jesus loves all people. If we love God, then we will love our neighbor and even our enemies. We will certainly love our bothers and sisters in the church. Even if you cannot love someone for their own sake, can you love them for Jesus’ sake? We should be compassionate toward people. Do not repay evil with evil, but with good. If we treat people as precious because of Jesus, we will be recognizing Him. 3. Receive Jesus as Lord The Jewish people should have recognized and received Jesus as their king. Those who do receive Jesus must recognize his kingship. “Lord” means that we owe Him our allegiance and obedience. Our lives are no longer our own to decide as we please. It is true that God will not force us to choose Him, but we must choose one way or the other. We cannot love the world and love God. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Jesus’ sake will find it. The Holy Spirit will tell you things and you must decide to obey or not. These are things that no one else may know about or things that other people cannot decide for you. Instead, you must decide to obey because the Holy Spirit told you to.