“He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not” (Jn. 1:10-11).
Surely the truth of these two statements was a searing, tearing grief to Him who is the Word of God and who was in the world to give it life. John earlier said, “All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that hath been made.” Imagine the awesome privilege to see and hear Him who was the creator of all things. We can cast our eyes, whichever direction we look, and be in the presence of Him who was the origin of all living things.
Imagine the pain Jesus must have felt when the creation honored lifeless stones and objects of gold with the worship and adoration that belonged alone to God. The senseless creature snubbed Him who deserved that worship but denied it by foolish men who “exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever” (Rom. 1:25).
Add to the grievous truth that the world which was made by the Word, did not know the Word these words, “He came unto his own and they that were his own received him not.” “His own” is a reference to His nation over which His eyes had watched and His mercies had protected for almost 2,000 years. This was in order that He might come from that nation — the seed of Abraham who proved to be a blessing to all nations.
Despite the truth that Jesus knew His nation would reject Him (Isaiah had written such 700 years earlier, saying, “He was despised and rejected of men,” Isa. 53:3), the knowledge that His own nation would reject and ultimately kill Him did not lessen the hurt that rejection brought to Him.
Their rejection of Him was senseless, having neither rhyme nor reason. He came with all the credentials of His Father. His Father acknowledge Him to be His Son at His baptism (Matt. 3:17), and then did the same at His transfiguration, commanding all to hear Him (Matt. 17:5). Then God bore witness that Jesus was “a man approved of God by mighty works and wonders and signs” which He performed among His people (Acts 2:22) with Peter adding “as ye, yourselves know.” John wrote that the purpose of recording the miracles Jesus worked was that “ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing ye may have life in his name” (Jn. 20:30-31). John records nine miracles Jesus performed, the first when Jesus turned water to wine (Jn. 2:6-10). The second when he healed the nobleman’s son (Jn. 4:46-51). The third, healing a man by the pool of Bethesda (Jn. 5:2-8). The fourth, feeding 5,000 men with five loaves and two fish (Jn. 6:9-13). The fifth, walking on water (Jn. 6:19). The sixth, giving sight to a man who had been born blind (Jn. 9:1-7). The seventh, raising Lazarus from the dead (Jn. 11:39-44). The eight, His resurrection from the dead (Jn. 20:1-17). The ninth was His miraculous draught of fish (Jn. 21:6). These miracles showed His power over nature, disease and death, proving that “the world was made by him.”
What reaction did Jesus see from His performance of His signs? Some followed Him for the loaves and fishes (Jn. 6:26). Some contemplated putting Lazarus to death because his resurrection had caused many to believe in Jesus (Jn. 12:10-11). Some said He did His signs by the power of Beelzebub, the prince of demons. When He had been raised from the dead and the guards who had guarded over His tomb after His death had reported to the Jews what had occurred, they were given much money and bribed to say that the disciples of Jesus came by night and stole away His body while the guards slept (Matt. 27:62-67; 28:11-16). When those who “were his own” were faced with indisputable proofs a blind man had been given sight by Jesus, they said, “Give glory to God. We know not whence this man is” (Jn. 9:29). But, there were a few like Nicodemus who said, “We know thou art a teacher come from God for no man can do the signs that thou doest, except God be with him” (Jn. 3:2).
The testimony of credible witnesses means nothing to the mind of most of our world: “Having eyes, see ye not?” (Mk. 8:18). But the fact that most will neither see nor acknowledge the truth which Jesus’ miracles prove Him to be, John wrote, “They that were his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name” (Jn. 1:10). Thanks be to God, that even though Jesus knew the world would reject Him, there would be a few who would receive Him, and He knew the souls of those who would receive Him were worth more than the world (Matt. 16:26). He was willing to suffer death that those ones might be saved. Thanks be to God for His infinite love, mercy, and grace!