Devotional

 ” He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.” –  John 1:11-13. 

“He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.” That verse has to be one of the most gut wrenching verses in the New Testament.

Jesus, the Messiah, the great I AM, the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Author of life, almighty God in flesh, yet when He came to His very own chosen people, they did not accept Him. Think a minute about what that means for us when we feel alone, deserted, misunderstood, or forgotten. We have a Savior who has experienced being rejected by people He loved. He knows because He has experienced it firsthand. He knows what it’s like to be rejected by those for whom He made major sacrifices. 

God chose the nation of Israel to be His special people – returned to the place that He created and to the people that He chose, but  “…those who should have recognized him, but they did not receive him.rejected Him.” And so “He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.” (Isaiah 53:3 ) God came to earth as Israel’s Messiah but Israel, His own chosen, covenanted people, did not receive Him. 

We probably wonder while Israel rejected Jesus, given all the evidence and testimony we read about in the Bible. Surely, if nothing else they would believe their eyes or eyewitnesses. Raising people from the dead, donkeys talking, feeding the 5,000, healing the blind and the paralytic, etc. But before we question the ancient Israelites, perhaps we should evaluate how well we see Jesus today. Like the Israelites in the first century if you don’t want to see Jesus you won’t. It takes willingness, initiative, and a “want to” to see Him. Over and over again in the Gospel of John, we read these words: “Come and see.” To the two disciples of John who questioned where Jesus was living, Jesus replied: “Come and you will see” (John 1:39 NIV). Nathanael questioned if anything good could come out of Nazareth, referring to Jesus. Philip said, “Come and see” (John 1:46 NIV). That is exactly what Nathaniel did. Rather than reject Jesus, he came and saw and came to this conclusion: ““Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.” (John 1:49 NIV)

We need to see Jesus for ourselves. We have heard about Him from others; now we are invited to see for ourselves, to experience Him first hand. Today may be the chance of a lifetime to see Jesus. We have the opportunity to not only see Him but to accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  

Discussion Question:

  1. Is it hard to see Jesus today? Why or why not? 
  2. What can we do this Christmas season to see Jesus more clearly?