John 1:9-13 – He Gives the Right
Diving Deeper Lesson Outline for John 1:9-13
John 1:9–13 (ESV) — 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
I am purposely skipping verses 6-8 for now and will come back to them in a few weeks.
1) JOHN REVIEWS
John 1:9 — 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
• See “The Life and the Light” lesson.
John 1:10a — 10a He was in the world, and the world was made through him…
• See “The Word Was…” lesson.
2) JEWS REJECT THE RIGHT
John 1:10b–11 — 10b yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
• John has been describing the glory of Jesus Christ as the Word, God, Creator, the Light and the Life.
• He then brings us to something of a paradoxical observation.
• Jesus, the God of Israel who covenanted with His people “came to his own” yet they “did not receive him”.
• How in the world is this possible?
• If Jesus was as obviously God as John says, why did “his own” reject Him?
The Bible provides the answers to these questions:
The rejection of Jesus was prophesied in the OT.
• Isaiah 8:14 (ESV) — 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
• Isaiah 53:3 (ESV) — 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
• Romans 11:7–8 (ESV) — 7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.”
o Here Paul quotes Isaiah 29:10 describing how the rejection of Jesus by Israel relates to the Gentiles being “grafted in”.
• Luke 19:41–42 (ESV) — 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
o Jesus, Himself, says “the things” are hidden from Israel.
POI – With regards to redemption of Israel as a nation, we learn in Zechariah 12:1-14 that at Christ’s 2nd coming, the people of Jerusalem will repent over the sin of rejecting Jesus.
• And a repentant nation of Israel will be saved, “I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem”.
• The first coming was to a nation that rejected Jesus; the second coming will be to a nation that doesn’t.
• In Revelation 7 we see, in the words of John MacArthur, “A missionary corps of redeemed Jews who are instrumental in the salvation of many Jews and Gentiles during the Tribulation. They will be the firstfruits of a new redeemed Israel. Finally, Israel will be the witness nation she refused to be in the OT.”
The rejection of Jesus was explained in the NT.
• Romans 11:25–27 (ESV) — 25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I want you to understand this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”; 27 “and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”
o Paul calls this “hiddeness” or “hardening” a mystery and that it has occurred for the sake of the Gentiles.
Summary of the rejection:
The rejection of the Messiah was part of God’s purpose and was foretold in the OT.
• This rejection ushered in God’s plan to redeem the Gentiles.
• Israel as a nation will be redeemed in Christ’s 2nd coming.
• Jesus first came “humbled and mounted on an ass” as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9 and was rejected.
• But He will be “coming with the clouds” as prophesied in Daniel 7:13 and redeem Israel.
Let’s look at a specific example of how the rejection played out in Luke 4 (from Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes).
• It will help us to get a little bit of background.
• Prior to and during Jesus ministry, Galilee had become known as “Galilee of the Gentiles”.
• Partly as attempt to stem the tide, nationalist Jews founded what were called “settler towns”.
• Nazareth was such a town.
• It was here that Jesus inaugurated His ministry.
Luke 4:16–21 (ESV) — 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
The enormity of Jesus’ proclamation alone was astounding.
• But, it was the way he quoted Isaiah that would have been just as astounding to the Jews in Nazareth.
• In Luke 4:19 Jesus quotes Isaiah 61 and says “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor”.
• If we look at Isaiah 61:2 however, we see Jesus left something out.
o Isaiah 61:1–4 (ESV) — 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; 3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
• What did Jesus leave out?
• He left out that the Jews, who had been enslaved and oppressed by Gentiles throughout history, would be avenged at the hands of God.
But Jesus goes on to make things even more offensive.
• He had a reason for leaving this part of the verse out.
o Luke 4:25–27 (ESV) — 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
• What were the woman of Sidon and Naaman the Syrian?
• Jesus was proclaiming to these nationalist Jews, who had serious problems with Gentiles, that He Jesus was the Messiah of whom Isaiah spoke and that this Messiah was called to save the very ones that had oppressed Israel, the Gentiles!
And their reaction to Jesus is exactly what John meant when he tells us “his own people did not receive him”.
• Luke 4:28–29 (ESV) — 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff.
Who, then, are those that don’t reject the Messiah?
Who are those that are able to recognize Christ as Word, God, Creator and the Life?
Who can see the light He shines in the darkness and understand it?
3) JESUS GIVES THE RIGHT
John 1:12–13 (ESV) — 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
• “Gave the right” denotes that Jesus has given us the freedom and capability (Strongs & TDNT) to become children of God by receiving and believing Him.
• John is telling us that the right to be children “is not obtainable through any racial or ethnic heritage (blood), personal desire (flesh), or man-made system (man)” – John MacArthur.
• It is a right that John says is “of God”.
This bestowal of “the right to become children of God” brings us back to the Life/Light/Psalmist discussion from last week.
• We learned that we are as dead spiritually without Christ as we are dead physically without Christ.
• Our spiritual person is as lifeless and unclean as the dust of our physical person.
• We can no more make ourselves alive spiritually as we could make ourselves alive from the dust.
• So those that see the light shine in the darkness and understand it are those that Christ gives this right.
• Psalm 36:9 (ESV) — 9 For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
To be sure, John opens a can of worms here that has challenged the Protestant mind since the reformation.
• What is the relationship between God bestowing this right (election) and our freewill?
• We won’t settle this issue in this class but we will wrestle more with it as we move through John’s Gospel.
POI – And the rest of the NT clearly echoes John’s words (and these are just a few):
• John 6:37 (ESV) — 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
• Acts 13:48 (ESV) — 48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.
• Romans 9:14–16 (ESV) — 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
• Ephesians 1:4 (ESV) — 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
• Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) — 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
• 2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV) — 9 who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
• 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV) — 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
One thing we can be certain of is that the Jew’s perception of what it meant to be a “child or promise” or a “child of Abraham” is radically challenged and altered by John’s Gospel and Jesus.
• John 1:13 (ESV) — 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
• Galatians 3:7 (ESV) — 7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
See you next week.