Jesus The Christ: We Decide If We Receive Him Or Not
Written by Leland Ping on May 20, 2016
The gospel according to John begins strikingly different than does the other three gospels. Rather than focusing on Christ’s birth or the early days of His physical life on earth, the apostle and close friend of Jesus begins his account of Jesus’ time on this earth with a discussion of His eternal existence. It comes as little surprise, then, that the first chapter presents the major choice that every person has to make regarding Jesus Christ. John writes, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children” (John 1:11-12).
Perhaps the most famous example of people not “receiving” the Savior occurred when He returned to His home town of Nazareth and was shown great disrespect by His own townspeople. They even wanted to throw Him off a cliff! (Luke 4:22-29). The words of Jesus are offensive to some and that was clearly the case here in Nazareth. Each of us has to decide how we will react to His words in our own lives. One of our options is to not receive Him and His words of salvation.
The alternative is to receive Him which begins with a strong belief in Jesus as the Christ. The phrase, “believe in His name” occurs here for the first of three times throughout the book of John (John 1:12). By truly and fully believing in Jesus Christ, we accept Him and through such acceptance begin the process of declaring His name to others. Being a Christian and choosing to not share Christ with others is not an option. And, as Jesus stated, we need to count the cost before becoming Christians and recognize the requirement laid on our shoulders of teaching the gospel to others (Luke 14:28).
Choosing to receive Jesus is the best and most important decision a person can ever make. John writes that, in receiving Jesus, we allow God to make us one of His children. Our Father has voluntarily chosen to adopt us into His family and has made us co-heirs of His inheritance according to the good pleasure of His will (Ephesians 1:5). To think that God actually gains pleasure from making our lives better and more meaningful is awe-inspiring! All He has asked us to do is to believe on His Son and receive Him unto ourselves. If that’s not something you’ve done, you need to today! If, however, you have chosen to receive and serve the Creator, be resolved to go into the world and share His incredible message with each and every soul who desperately needs our loving Savior.