Today I am participating in Proverbs 31 Ministries' blog hop as we study A Confident Heart by Renee Swope. This is an online Bible Study which will be taking place over the next six weeks.
For this week's topic I am unpacking John 1:12. In other words, taking a closer look at this verse and telling you what it's meant to me.
Although I've steered away from the verse mapping so far during this study, I couldn't resist the urge to unpack this verse because the book of John has meant so much to me since becoming a follower of Jesus in 2009. John 1 is, to me, one of the most powerful passages in scripture.
It's important before we look at the actual verse to keep in mind what John is trying to accomplish in writing this Gospel. Each book of the Gospel had a specific purpose, and John's was no different. Others were to show Jesus was Messiah, Savior, and King. John's was to show Jesus is God.
In the verses leading up to John 1:12 the author is establishing the fact that Jesus was both fully human and fully God, and He always has been, even before the foundation of the earth. He is the eternal source of all light and truth.
In verse 12 we read, "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God."
The following words stood out to me while reading and meditating on this scripture:
All: every, any. Jesus is not just for the Jew but for the Gentile also. For everyone who accepts Him. Just as Adam and Eve were given the choice of whether to obey God or go their own way, we are given free will. The Holy Spirit will pull at our hearts, but the decision is ours.
Received: accepted, to take into one's possession, as in gifts. The freedom and life we have in Jesus is a gift. We do not have to work for it or earn it.
Name: identity, designation. Accepting Jesus also means believing in who he is. He is the Son of God, the only way to eternal life.
Children: son, daughter, family. When I become born of God I am a new creation. I have been spiritually reborn. Although I will still have fleshly desires and temptations, because of the Spirit in me, I no longer am a slave to them.
When I let these words and their meaning resonate in my heart, I am overwhelmed by the grace and beauty of the simple message. God left his Heavenly home, his Father and all the unfathomable glories in his grasp to be a mere human and die for me, a sinner. All I had to do is receive the free gift extended to me to have freedom from the power death had over me. I am eternally grateful and will forever praise His Name, the Name above all names.