“He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.” John 1:10-11 (MSG)
The Son of God, the One who created our world, was among us, in our own neighborhood. He came to show how much our Father loves us; yet the only public attention He received was critical in nature.
Any married couple will tell you that one of the most precious experiences is to conceive a child. Life changes drastically as we pour all our love into our children. We spend time with them, we travel to places they want to explore, we buy them the presents they dream of; and even though we are far from being perfect parents, we show our children what love looks like.
How do we react, however, when our children rebel against us? What would we do if they refused to ever see us again? Those were the same feelings Jesus experienced. The religious authorities did not accept Him. They even went so far as to claim He was from the devil: “But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.'” Matthew 12:24 (NIV). It was, however, those same religious authorities who were in the dark. The proof of this is that they were the ones who planned Jesus’ death: “Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Mark 3:6 (NIV). These religious authorities knew nothing of love. They were only motivated by their own pride. Instead of serving God, they were serving themselves.
Even though Jesus knew from the beginning how He would be received on Earth (“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come …” Isaiah 46:10a NIV), it must have hurt Him deeply to see His own creation rebel against Him. Still, Jesus kept on witnessing about God’s genuine love, hoping they would eventually come to realize how much God loves us: “For whoever touches you touches the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8b (NIV)
Jesus is continually knocking at our own heart’s door: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20 (NIV) His hands are bloody. After all, He willingly died on a lonely cross so that we would have the opportunity to get to know our Heavenly Father.
Somehow, however, many of us have barred that door. It is like we have stacked all our furniture in front of that door so that Jesus cannot get in. We treat Him as if He were the thief! It’s time we move the barricade out of the way. Imagine sitting in your living room with Jesus as your guest! Aren’t we hungering for love? He is THE love, the only GENUINE love, the love that will fill us to overflowing.
We were in Kortrijk, Belgium, at suppertime. I had previously sought out the best vegetarian restaurant in town for my wife and me. I had even verified that it would be open while we were there. When we got to the restaurant, however, it was closed. CLOSED? The operating hours posted in the window showed that it should be open, but it wasn’t. I was quite disappointed. If someone cannot honor their own hours, who can we trust?
I felt rejected, but when I asked my Heavenly Father for help, He guided me to another vegetarian restaurant that was not on my map. The food was super delicious, probably way better than the one I had chosen. They had croque-monsieur à la carte, and I was able to choose what to put in my toasted cheese sandwich. Wow! Delicious!
We may be rejected by people, but no matter where we are, our Heavenly Dad will always provide.
(To access the entire “The Word Comes Alive” devotional series, please click here.)