He was in the world with us, but the world did not recognize Him
Written on April 10, 2020 – Good Friday
It often bothers me that our Lord was right here on earth with us, and apparently even those who were closest to Him did not realize exactly who He was. How could this have been possible?
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” John 1: 9-10
John, one of the disciples who was with Christ and was said to have been His favorite among the twelve, wrote this particular passage. Until the resurrection, I suppose they all thought of Christ as a great spiritual leader and teacher but they did not really know He was God in the flesh, in spite of Him telling them over and over. It is easy to criticize them after the fact, but even if you had been there walking with our Lord I doubt if you would have been any different.
As I look at life around me most of us seem to be walking with our souls fast asleep inside. It is like fish do not realize they are living in water because there is no other way to live for most of them. It is the same as not seeing the forest for the trees axiom. While going through life you can’t really stand outside of it and see it as it really is. When we reminisce about our early life we can see it through our remembrance. They say hindsight is 20/20 and that is perhaps our best view of life. We tend to cherish our loved ones once they die when we should have been cherishing them while they were living. Most of us have so many regrets about what we did not do while we were younger. Is life that hypnotic that it puts our souls asleep? Perhaps a better question is where we ever truly awakened at the level of our internal souls?
When I look at the days of my youth it appears that I was a different person living in this body of mine. There were phases of my life when I was there physically but otherwise, I was not consciously all there. When I wrote my first book I remember making a statement that my search for God was like an antidote to my sleepwalking disorder. Until the spirit of God awakens in you it is as though you are just sleepwalking through life. You really do not see what God sees. Things that God wants us to see and do seem to fly over our heads. The only reason why I have any notion of being alive in this human body presently is because the Holy Spirit has awakened in me. Now I see with God’s eyes more than I do with my human eyesight. It is not a pretty picture because I also see all my faults, most of which I can’t seem to conquer. Fortunately, God has an antidote for my sin disorder as well.
That passage in the Gospel of John continued to say: “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” Perhaps until we are reborn by the Spirit it is impossible to see or know God. Until God opens our spiritual eyes we only see as the world sees. Even after the resurrection Christ cautioned His disciples not to leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift His Father promised. Once they were filled with the Holy Spirit their eyes were opened. It was very similar for Apostle Paul when he converted from Saul, the persecutor of the Jews. Once the Spirit of Christ opened his eyes he was able to know God and even see things that no mortal being was allowed to see. He referenced this as the third heaven. “And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows- was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.” 2 Corinthians 12:3-4
This concept of the third Heaven is mentioned in several passages of the Old Testament as a distinctly spiritual realm containing or being traveled by angels of God called Shamayi h’Shamayim: (שׁמי השׁמים) heavens of heavens.
The ways of God are unsearchable for us in our human form. Spirit only knows Spirit while flesh can only know flesh. Fortunately for us, Christ was both. Christ was sent to earth to bridge the gap between mortal man and God therefore His divine purpose cannot be compared with our divine purposes. I only say this because even though we would like to be imitators of Christ, our kindred to God is only through Christ and not through birth.
There is only one Christ and one Lord and as John said in the scriptural passage above, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” This right does not come from or by man, but only from God. That means that only God alone can open our spiritual eyes. This accounts for most of our sleepwalking disorder. As we live in the flesh and are guided by the desires of the flesh which blinds our view of God. Though we are alive in the world we are dead in the spirit. Once reborn in the flesh then you become alive in the spirit as well. I remember calling this my grand awakening but at the time I did not totally understand why I felt that way. It took many more years for God to reveal such things to me once I was open to receive His wisdom.
I’m not sure how it is for everyone alike but I invite you to look back over your life and see if you detect the various persons that inhabited your body. As a child, you had a certain persona that changed somewhat as an adolescent and even more as an adult continuing through the various stages of aging. If you look back at that naive child that you were it barely seems to be the same person as you are now. You grew through so many phases of life that matured, evolved, and even changed to the degree that you are no longer the same person. Most of that flew by like a spinning clock and just how much of it were you truly alive in consciously feeling it as you were living it? If you happened to have developed a close relationship with God then there were more times when you were really experiencing life as it was passing because with God comes purpose and meaning. You see things more as God sees them, which makes you feel alive and active.
The disciples were common people like us so imagine one day being invited by Jesus to travel the countryside spreading the good news about God. Perhaps the Spirit moved on them but they were fully human like us so having the wisdom to know that they were actually walking with God was not the case, not until He died and was resurrected. Then once filled with the Holy Spirit they became fully awakened. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to become fully awakened to the degree that we know God and we know our soul is eternal. We realize that we are in this world but not of this world. As we live and breathe, we do so to serve Almighty God. This does not mean that we live angelic or perfect lives but that we submit our will to the will of God and seek His forgiveness for our imperfection because as long as we are in human form we will fall short of the Glory of God… we sin because our flesh was born in iniquity and we live in this body.
Not to make light or excuses for the twelve but their divine purposes were also chosen by God. Christ told them: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit - fruit that will last - and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” Just as they had specific purposes we also have purposes to fulfill in and through God. Unfortunately, not everyone will come unto Him and not all will be given the right to become God’s children but it is not because God does not desire them, but because they do not desire God.
Even now as you contemplate the words here it makes you think, just how much do I desire God? Do you want to know more about God and to have the right to become His child? Not everyone is given that right and some are still sleepwalking through life without a clue about their godly mission and purpose. The doors are still open but not all will walk in. It requires that you make that commitment, to believe in Him who was sent just for this purpose, to gather soul and lead them back home to the Father.
Yes, it is true: “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” He is still amongst us in Spirit and in Truth. He is the Lamb of God and to this day His Light shines a beacon for all to see. If you believe in His Holy Name He will give you the right to become a child of the Living God. Selah!