The Word and Incarnation
“He was in the world, and the world was created through Him, and yet the world did not recognize Him. (11) He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. (12) But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name, (13) who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. (14) The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (15) (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, "This was the One of whom I said, 'The One coming after me ranks ahead of me, because He existed before me.'") (16) Indeed, we have all received grace upon grace from His fullness, (17) for the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (18) No one has ever seen God. The One and Only Son, who is Himself God and is at the Father's side – He has revealed Him.” - John 1:10-18
Concept Summary – The God we can hug.
In Acts 12:5-19, there is an amusing account of answered prayer where we learn Peter could relate to Christ’s not being recognized by those He came to save. To set the stage, the church is enduring another persecution, James the brother of John had been killed and Peter imprisoned, and frankly it didn’t look good for him.
The church then gathered and prayed for Peter. God responded; He sent an angel and sprung Peter from prison! He then went to Mary the mother of John Mark’s home and knocked on the door. Rhoda, who answered the door, got immediately entered into the word of God for eternity as a bit ditzy as she recognized Peter’s voice but dashed to tell others without letting him in. Poor Peter.
Christ is knocking on the doors of your heart too. You recognize His voice just as Rhoda did. Won’t you open the door and let Him in? You’ll be forever glad you did!
Ah, Rhoda, love the girl. Verses 10 and 11 above are so sad. Jesus had been reaching out to Israel through their entire history, yet when He came they didn’t recognize their Messiah. In like manner, He’s reaching out still today to all of us.
But praise God for verse 12! To those of us who do receive Him, we become the children of God, even to those who believe solely on His name. Let me unpack that a little for you. Skip over to John 3 where Jesus is talking with Nicodemus. Nic couldn’t get his mind around what it meant to be born again as we see in John 3:9-16.
To get the idea across of what saving faith is, Jesus used the example from the Exodus. When Moses raised the bronze serpent up on a pole, all those who believed were healed by looking at it and believing. Same way with salvation, all who believe when viewing Christ on the cross are saved. It just takes simple faith.