THE WORLD DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE WORD

I. Even though he is light in darkness

II. Even though he is glorious, gracious and true


John 1:1-14 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through

him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been

made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light

shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. 6 There

came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a

witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might

believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the

light. 9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the

world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through

him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his

own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to

those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of

God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a

husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his

dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and

Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.


In the name of Jesus Christ, born this day to save us, dear Christian friends,

The world did not recognize him. The Apostle John wrote these God-inspired

words about Jesus and, for John, as well as for us who do recognize Jesus as Savior of the

world, it is super frustrating. Why doesn’t Uncle Ulysses believe that Jesus is his Savior

from sin? Why doesn’t Cousin Clare celebrate Christmas?

How can they overlook the obvious signs? How can they deny God’s holy Word

that clearly points to Jesus as the sinless substitute who secured salvation for all? How

can they go through life without true comfort in their grief, without real joy in their

successes, without confident hope for eternity?

And what can we do about it? We want them to have what we have and to enjoy

forgiveness, new life and salvation in Christ Jesus as Savior! We don’t want them to be

lost in hell for all eternity!


THE WORLD DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE WORD

I. Even though he is light in darkness

II. Even though he is glorious, gracious and true


2 What can we do to help? One answer to that question comes from an award-

winning historian and author named Tom Holland. He teaches that we should “preach

the weird stuff”. He suggests “we should not shy away from the things that make

Christian faith unique. For example, the idea that Jesus of Nazareth is both God and

man sets everything on its head and it is the incarnation (Jesus taking on human flesh and

blood) that provides Christianity’s ‘strange singularity’. He asserts that we should talk

more about angels and demons and miracles because...these have stood the test of time.”

Well, there is plenty of weird stuff in the Word of God before us today. So, listen

well and because THE WORLD DID NOT RECOGNIZE THE WORD


I. Even though he is light in darkness and

II. Even though he is glorious, gracious and true,


go ahead and “preach the weird stuff” because Uncle Ulysses and Cousin Clare need to hear from you,

but more importantly, they need to hear from God.

God tells us: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things

were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... The Word

became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

Talk about “weird stuff”! Who or what is the Word? From John’s God-inspired

description, we conclude it is Jesus! He is God, as well as with God the Father and God

the Holy Spirit as the Holy Trinity. He has always existed and was there in the beginning

to create all things.

He is also man, having covered himself in human flesh and blood in order to

fulfill the law perfectly in our place and in order to remove from us our punishment for

sin and to take it upon himself, when he suffered hell on earth on the cross and died. But

with that same human flesh and blood, he rose from the grave and ascended into heaven

as conqueror over sin, death and Satan.

This is all so weird not just because Jesus is the God-man— unique, unable to be

completely comprehended, unable to be fully explained— but also because of why he did

this. He didn’t owe us anything. We owe him because of our huge amount of sins

against him. He came to us, lived for us, died for us, rose from the dead for us purely

because he loved us. In a world filled with hatred and selfishness, that is a refreshing

change! Truly, “weird stuff” to our sinful nature and to so many yet today like Uncle

Ulysses and Cousin Clare.

Now, in [Jesus is] life. To all who received 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. By your

baptism, you were born of God and are claimed by him to be his son and daughter and

Jesus’ brother and sister! As a child of God through faith in Christ Jesus, you are

forgiven of every little and large sin, of every look of lust and lift of larceny, and you get

to live with him in his mansions of heaven for all eternity!

This is why we celebrate Christmas every year! This is why we have comfort in

our grief, joy in our successes, and confident hope for eternity. This is why we want to

talk to Uncle Ulysses and Cousin Clare so they can have life with us, the life that is found

in Jesus alone.

Jesus’ life is the light [that] shines in the darkness and that gives light to every

man. Jesus is the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of

grace and truth.


3 Why didn’t the world recognize the Word even though he is light in the darkness?

They loved the darkness. They enjoy their evil, they immerse themselves in their

immorality, they love their lies, they are steeped deep in their sin, they wallow in their

wickedness.

What can we do? Let’s flee from every temptation Satan presents to us and live

in the light of Jesus’ forgiveness as examples for them. Let’s also keep “preaching the

weird stuff”. Tell them about God’s forgiveness in Christ Jesus which is full— even for

the really bad stuff— and free— unable to be bought or earned, but available in Jesus.

Why didn’t the world recognize the Word even though he is glorious, gracious

and true? They want the glory for themselves. They have been so rude and unloving to

others that they don’t expect kindness from someone else. They don’t want to know the

truth because they can’t handle God’s truth which condemns and convicts.

What can we do? Let’s give God the glory, thank him for his grace and surround

ourselves with his truth by maintaining or starting a consistent worship and devotional

life as examples for others. Let’s also keep “preaching the weird stuff”. Speak of Jesus’

unconditional love, his dual nature, his life, death and resurrection, his heaven where he

wants all people to dwell with him.

The world may turn on you, but what is one day of sadness for us on earth

compared to an eternity of sadness for them in hell? Or they may thank you, for telling

them what is weird, what is unique, what is unexplainable, what is incomprehensible, but

what is exactly what they needed to hear to set them free from the darkness of their sin.

Celebrate Christmas today thankful you recognize Jesus as the Word, who is

God and who became flesh. Maybe next year you will celebrate Christmas with Uncle

Ulysses and Cousin Clare in God’s house.

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