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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

1/5/11- John 1:9-11 He came to His Own

 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

(Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee- taken by the author)

Thoughts: Of course, Jesus is the true light that came to us.  The goodness and truth of Christ has affected the world- even those who do not believe.  A blind person is still affected by the sun's rising.  However, we willfully refuse to look at the light.  The creature did not recognize the Creator.  The painting did not recognize the artist.  The baby did not recognize the parent.  It is akin to ingratitude.  We  should be able to recognize the one who brought us life.  We are the stewards of creation who did not recognize the owner.  The innkeeper casts out the real owner of the town the inn is in.  Jesus gave the parable of the vineyard in which the son of the owner came back to his own property and those who were renting or taking care of the property killed him thinking they would then do as they please and even perhaps own it.  We are stewards of the earth who are called to recognize the owner. 

Prayer: Lord, let me recognize your presence and rightful claims.  Everything I see is yours.  Help me to receive you, seek you, and follow your will for me.

John Calvin Abridged: The evangelist was not intending to contrast the true light from the false, but was trying to distinguish Christ's light from all others.  Whatever is luminous in heaven or earth borrows its light (or power) from something else- except Christ.  In what sense does the light come to "everyone"?  Some say the writer intends this to be those on whom the Spirit falls.  Augustine uses the imagery of the only schoolteacher in town being called the teacher of everyone- even though not all attend the school.  I think that the other interpretation is better that the rays of Christ are diffused over all people.  There is no one who doesn't have some perception of the eternal light- and in that sense His light has reached them.  We need to clarify that this is the common light of nature and not saving faith that is equally offered to all.  No one by the light of reason and their own wisdom will be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven. 

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