“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” John 1:11
People, especially children, can be unpredictable and we may often be surprised by an unexpected reaction. My grandchildren have often surprised me with their reactions when I meet them. Sometimes they will run up to have a hug or tell me something that is important to them. On other occasions they may be a little indifferent or they may even run away.
When they come running to me for a hug you can imagine the great joy and pleasure that it gives me. At the other end of the scale, you can imagine the disappointment when they do something that discourages intimacy at that time. Each child has their own personality so I recognise that they won’t express their relationship to me in the same way and the way they do will change as they mature.
Our heavenly Father will also experience joy and grief when we act like children; sometimes we run to Him and other times we keep distant. All the time He wants to be close and intimate with us. If our hearts grieve when our child or grandchild keeps distant from us how much more does our heavenly Father grieve especially if we are giving our affections to another?
The words in the verse above are among the saddest that we can read in the Bible. Jesus came to His people, both Jew and Gentile, but they rejected Him. On the cross He was rejected by all those He came to save. He bore our sin on the cross but not ours only but that of the whole world (1 John 2:2).
Jesus came not to condemn the world but to save the world (John 3:17) and to all who will receive Him He will receive and create new in His family of true brethren.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
It is possible for us to be distracted at Christmas time to the point where we do not run into the arms of Jesus but rather to the gods of this world. The world has its portrait of Christmas which is only a fairy tale. If we allow our hearts to be turned from the Lord and our activity focussed on the world’s values and activities, the Lord we will grieve in His heart. Just as a child who resists the affection of a parent or grandparent can grieve them so we may grieve our Saviour.
It will require spiritual discernment to keep our focus on things that are of God and from things that are of the world but if our desire from the heart is for the Lord Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit will enable us to do so.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).