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. 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.
This is a sad passage in many aspects. God decides to come into the world he created to save his people from the consequences of their own actions, but people did not recognize him. Even those who should have, because their prophets had prophesied about him, rejected him. How tragic is that? However, nestled within this account of rejection is an amazing invitation with life-changing implications for all who accept it.
John writes: "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." Everyone who embraces Jesus as the Son of God who has come to save them is granted the remarkable privilege of becoming children of God. Let us think about this for a moment; I mean, really think about this. We often say that we are God's children without understanding what that means.
Being born of God signifies a spiritual rebirth, where we are adopted into God's family, entering into an intimate and eternal relationship with him. We are no longer citizens of the world but of heaven. Think of it as moving your residence, not from one city to another, or even one country to another, but from one realm to another. Everything is different, and we need to adapt to the new system of this realm. It's what we call heaven, and it doesn't begin when we are physically reborn after we are dead but when we are spiritually reborn. More about this when we come to Chapter 4.
Now, as God's children, we are recipients of God's unconditional love, grace, and inheritance. We are invited to walk in the light of his truth and experience the abundant life that Jesus offers. We are no longer defined solely by our earthly circumstances or limitations but are now partakers in the divine nature and purpose. Our identity as children of God transcends earthly lineage, human efforts, and the will of man.
It is a divine transformation—a new birth that originates from God himself. We have not and cannot earn this through our own merit, but it is a gift received through faith. As Paul wrote: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). This understanding humbles us and reminds us of the immeasurable grace extended to us. It also invites us to extend that same grace and acceptance to others, recognizing THEIR potential to become children of God as well.
Let us embrace our identity as children of God with gratitude and awe and live in the light of this profound truth, allowing it to shape our lives, relationships, and purpose.
God bless you.