Soren Kierkegaard, the great Danish theologian of another century, tells the story of a prince who was running an errand for his father one day in the local village. As he did so, he passed through a very poor section of the town. Looking through the window of his carriage, he saw a beautiful young peasant girl walking along the street. He could not get her off his heart. He continued to come to the town, day after day, just to see her and to feel as though he was near her. His heart yearned for her, but there was a problem. How could he develop a relationship with her? He could order her to marry him. It was in his power to do so. But he wanted this girl to love him from the heart, willingly. He could put on his royal garments and impress her with his regal entourage, and drive up to her front door with soldiers and a carriage drawn by six horses. But if he did this he would never be certain that the girl loved him or was simply overwhelmed with his power, position and wealth. The prince came up with another solution. As you may have guessed, he gave up his kingly robe and symbols of power and privilege. He moved into the village dressed only as a peasant. He lived among the people, shared their interests and concerns, and talked their language. In time, the young peasant girl grew to know him, and then to love him.
This is what Jesus has done for us. The Word became flesh. The King of heaven put aside his heavenly robes. He came to us as one of us. He lived among us; ate with us; drank with us; felt with us — all to win our love. He could have forced us. He could have overwhelmed us, but he chose to romance us. He stands here today with the smile of love and arms extended. He is the God who became real so that we could experience his transforming love. Jesus is not only a truth to believe in, he is a person to be accepted.
How Does Jesus’ Divinity Affect Me?
- I Should Believe in Jesus and Accept Him
11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him.
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
To “accept him” means to welcome a visitor into your home. It’s what happens when someone knocks at your door and you open the door and invite him or her to come in. To “accept” Christ means to welcome him as an honored guest and to have him make your heart his home. In a real sense, if you have never invited Jesus into your life, He is still on the outside.
John 1:13 teaches us that salvation does not run automatically from one generation to another:
13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. John 1:10-13
You aren’t a Christian just because your parents are. And you won’t get brownie points with God just because you come from a good family and have a fine education. You can’t save yourself by human effort so don’t bother trying. “Born of God ” means it is from Him and it’s a free gift. It takes each individual believing Jesus and Accepting Him. All who welcome Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives are reborn spiritually, receiving new life from God. Through faith in Christ, this new birth changes us from the inside out — rearranging our attitudes, desires, and motives. Being born makes you physically alive and places you in your parents’ family Being born of God makes you spiritually alive and puts you in God’s family Have you asked Christ to make you a new person? This fresh start in life is available to all who believe in Christ.
- I Should Honor Jesus with My Life
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. John 1:14
16 From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. John 1:16-17
Notice the words “unfailing love” and “faithfulness.” That is Jesus. We should honor, adore and worship him because of who he is. If Jesus did not care, he would never have come. He certainly would not have allowed himself to be abused and crucified if he did not love you enormously. It just wouldn’t have happened. The eternal God stepped into time and space to allow you to know him, be forgiven and inherit the kingdom of heaven. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is. This is the faithfulness of God.
How can we continue to live selfish, self-centered and sinful lives when God has done all he can do to demonstrate his love for us? How can we hold onto our sin when Jesus gave up everything for us. Mary Magdalene was more than ready to leave her old life behind when she was transformed by the amazing love of Jesus. Likewise, Peter, Paul, James and John and countless others left their former life in order to embrace a new life in Christ. Countless people through the ages, up to the present moment, have given up everything in order to follow Jesus. They personally experienced his love and faithfulness. I honor Jesus with my life by following him and living for him instead of myself. Are you willing to honor Jesus with your life?
John shows us in chapter 1 a great example of one who honored Jesus: John the Baptist, His life was about honoring Jesus pointing others to Him. Even when pressed by the Pharisees John says, “This is not about me. It is not about the rite of baptism. It is not about by whose authority I baptize. It is all about Jesus.” He said things like, “ he must increase and I must decrease” “I am not worthy to untie his sandals” to loose another’s sandal was the most menial of tasks. Only the lowest slaves would loosen sandals. Even disciples were not asked to loosen the sandals of their teachers, yet John says, “I am unworthy to do the single most humbling task, to loosen His sandals.”
To those of us who have believed, accepted Christ, one of the greatest ways to honor him is to Point others to him. I use the word point, not force.
God created everyone with a free will to choose Christ or reject him. No where in the gospels is there any example of Jesus trying to force a person to go against their individual will. All Christians have the responsibility to present the facts of Christ and His gospel to their neighbors. Yet, the choice to decide for or against Christ’s offer of forgiveness is left with each person. Many believers become overly concerned about why people act the way they do and make the decision to reject Christ. Jesus taught the disciples that each one is responsible for their own decisions. Great worry can be lifted off of our shoulders when we truly embrace the truth and consequences of individual free will. Having said that we still need to point others to Jesus SO they can make their decision. Today could be their day to decide for Christ! Today could be your day.
- I Should Point Others to Him
A little preschooler came home from her first time at Sunday School. Mom wanted to know how things had gone and what the little girl thought about the experience. Mom hoped she would like it and want to keep going. “How was it?” mom asked. “Oh, it was fine and it was fun. But I think my teacher was Jesus’ grandma!” “What makes you think that?” asked the surprised mom.
The little girl answered without hesitation, “Because she kept showing us pictures of Jesus. And he’s all she talked about!”
Imagine what an impact we might have if people thought we were related to Jesus’ because we talk about him so freely. . This is exactly what John the Baptist did, John is called “the Baptist” because he was immersing so many people in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. “Someone is coming a whole lot more important that me,” he told any who would listen. When Jesus showed up, he said, “Behold the lamb of God.” He soon faded into the background so all of the attention could be given to Jesus.
36 As Jesus walked by, John looked at him and declared, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” 37 When John’s two disciples heard this, they followed Jesus. John 1:36-37
Andrew was one of the first to follow Jesus. Once convinced that Jesus was the one he had been waiting for, he immediately found his brother Peter and brought him to Jesus. Andrew would never be the bright light that his brother would be among the Apostles, but Peter might never have known Jesus if his brother hadn’t insisted on talking about Jesus.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of these men who heard what John said and then followed Jesus. 41 Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). John 1:40-41
This brings us to Philip. Jesus invites him to join him on his road trip to Galilee. But note what Philip does first. He finds his friend (some Bible scholars think he was a cousin, perhaps even a brother) Nathaniel and tells him about Jesus.
45 Philip went to look for Nathaniel and told him, “We have found the very person Moses and the prophets wrote about! His name is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.” John 1:45
Think about Philip for a minute. He was a brand new disciple. He may not even have half understood what he believed yet. But he knew Jesus was the best thing he had ever heard of. Jesus was simply too good to keep to himself. He couldn’t help himself. He had to talk about him. He had to tell his friend. You don’t have to know or understand everything to point people to Jesus.
It is my prayer that if you are a Christ follower that we would be people like Philip and Andrew. What a difference it would make in this world if more people were so impressed with Jesus that they couldn’t help talking about him. We need men and women and teenagers who love their friends and family so much that they want more than anything to bring them to Jesus. It doesn’t take a lot of learning, education, or experience. The only real requirements are a love for Jesus, a love for our friends, and the kind of faith that believes no one is beyond the reach of God’s love.