Friday, December 13, 2013

Got a light?

John 1

English Standard Version (ESV)

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 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.

The true light, Jesus, who shines the truth to all, came into the world. A world that he made. Yet the inhabitants of this world did not recognize their own creator. The word inhabitants is not in there, but I take that to be the inferred meaning. Or does it mean the world or universe itself (cosmos) did not recognize him? Even though at times the universe is given such characteristics (the rocks cry out, the universe groans) I find it hard to interpret such a meaning here. We, humans, did not recognize our creator. Perhaps because he did not meet our Godly expectations. He looked like one of us. And not even the greatest one of us at that. Even his own, which I take to mean the Jews, did not welcome Him. 

But some did. Somehow, some were able to see it. I still cannot help but think that that ability is a gift from God. I looked up the words translated "receive" in verses 11 and 12. It is interesting to note that they are not the same words. The first one means something along the lines of "associate with," as in his own would not even associate with him. The second carries the idea of "taking what is one's own," or "making something your own." Add that to the idea of believing, trusting, putting our confidence in Him, and you have salvation, here expressed as a right to become a child of God.

So here comes the struggle for many. This was not accomplished by blood. I take this to mean that salvation is not an inherent right just because you were born human. Throws a wrench in the whole universalist theology of salvation of all mankind. And, this was not accomplished by the will of the flesh (will can also be translated choice) nor of the will of man. I find it interesting that flesh and man are both listed, as if a specific point was being made here. Your flesh did not choose this, neither did you. It was God's choice. 

Thought for the Day: Salvation is more than just a head knowledge, and likely also much more than even a mere association with Jesus (so much for all those Sunday School Perfect Attendance pins!) I, too, like Amy Farrah Fowler, am baffled by the notion of a deity who takes attendance. Salvation is us making Jesus our own. A relationship that has a certain level of depth as well as dependence. It implies a level of confidence and trust. And perhaps that is something that is out of our reach, without the help of God Himself.

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