He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him
In today’s verse John goes even deeper into man’s innate rebellion and rejection of God, of which Jesus’ crucifixion is the apex. He basically echoes Jeremiah’s diagnosis: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer. 17:9). The King James Version states it as “desperately wicked,” which seems more accurate. John made a distinction between “the world” (v. 10) and God’s “own people” (v. 11).
God had highly favored the Israelites, making them “his own people.” Paul showed their privileges in Romans: “They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen” (Rom. 9:4-5).
One would think that these amazing privileges would be a more than sufficient motive to gladly embrace the Person who embodies all of them. The sad reality is that this is not the case. Jesus was also rejected by his own highly-favored people. They did not receive—accept—Him.
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The Devotional Writer
Author of “An Unfathomable Gift!“