1. John 1:6–13 (ESV)
  2. Application

The true Light rejected

John 1:6–13 (ESV)

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

If the Word is the true light, it is very surprising to read about the Word being rejected. Surely if the Christ is the light that shines in the darkness, he should have been recognized? When you are in a dark room and someone strikes a match, you can see the light straightaway. If Jesus truly is the Creator who came into the world, why would he be rejected? Why was he not recognized as God’s glorious King?

People's refusal to believe in Jesus was not due to a lack of clarity or evidence, but an unwillingness to accept the plain truth. The light came into the world but people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil (John 3:19–20).

We find examples of this rejection throughout John’s Gospel. One is in John 7:40–52. There we find people are debating whether or not Jesus is the Christ. The big issue is where he comes from. If he comes from Galilee, then he cannot be the Christ because the Christ must come from Bethlehem. That is perfectly legitimate reasoning. Sadly, however, instead of asking more questions and doing some investigation, they leave the matter. If they had investigated more carefully, they would have quickly discovered from Jesus’ friends and family that he was born in Bethlehem. But they do not investigate, since in their minds they have sufficient reason to ignore Jesus.

Another instance comes in John 9:1–41. Jesus heals a man who has been blind from birth. It is clear to everyone that this is a miracle, a testimony to Jesus’ power and authority. But the man’s parents are unwilling to believe in Jesus for fear of the consequences. They don’t want to be kicked out of the synagogue and lose their status in society. It is not a lack of evidence that prevents faith, but a fear of what people will think.

Again and again throughout John's Gospel, this pattern of rejection is repeated. The Word is dismissed because people love darkness. The light might shine, biblical revelation might be clear, but we do not want to listen. We do not want to hear truth that challenges our autonomy and exposes our sin. The relativism that we are taught in school, the persecution of Christian believers, and the limits on freedom of speech are all a symptom of a darkness that refuses to acknowledge the light of God’s truth.

The Word is the true light, but the true light is rejected by those who love darkness. The Word was in the world but the world did not know him. He came to his own, but his own people did not receive him.